Recognizing the importance of agricultural growth and development in assuring livelihood security of its population, the Government of Rajasthan gave high priority to develop agricultural education, research and extension in the state. The first agriculture college established in the State was SKN College of Agriculture at Jobner. Later on in 1955, Rajasthan College of Agriculture was established at Udaipur. With the establishment of first Agricultural University at Pantnagar in 1960 on the pattern of Land Grant Universities of USA, Rajasthan state had the distinction of being the second in establishment of Agricultural Universities in the country in 1962. It also accepted the model of land grant pattern of education of U.S.A. with trinity of functions i.e. teaching, research and extension education. The government took the bold decision to transfer the research component to the university which many other states took a long time. Soon the university was converted into multi faculty in 1964. Later on separate Agricultural University was created in 1987 at Bikaner by bifurcating from the Sukhadia University, Udaipur. The selected allied Colleges at Udaipur became constituent colleges of Rajasthan Agricultural University, Bikaner.
Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology, Udaipur (MPUAT), the second Agricultural University of the state, (initially named as Agricultural University, Udaipur) came into existence on 1st November, 1999 by bifurcation of the Rajasthan Agricultural University, Bikaner through promulgation of Government of Rajasthan Ordinance No. 6 of 1999, which became an Act in May, 2000. This has been done in view of wide physiographic variation including crops, cropping pattern, climate, soil parameters, etc. in the largest state of the country. Moreover, it was difficult to manage stipulated task of teaching, research and extension activities as per the mandate set-forth through a single University in the state. Besides this, it provides new fillip to location specific programmes more suited to tribal belt specifically for the southern Rajasthan. The University started functioning in full swing with effect from December 1, 1999.
The jurisdiction of the university include constituent colleges, Agricultural Research Stations (ARSs), Agricultural Research Sub Stations (ARSSs), Livestock Research Station (LRS), Dryland Farming Research Station (DFRS), and Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) spread over 7 districts of the south and south eastern part of the state of Rajasthan. These districts are Udaipur, Rajsamand, Dungarpur, Banswara, Chittorgarh, Bhilwara and Pratapgarh.
The university’s main objective is to train need based quality human resource in consonance with need of the public and private sector organizations, conduct basic and applied research to solve both the existing and long term problems; and arrange Human Resource Development (HRD) programmes for effective transfer of technology to the officers and supervisory staff of the Departments of Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry, Soil Conservation and Watershed Management, Animal Husbandry, etc. The specific objectives are as follows:
- Imparting teaching and training in different branches of agriculture and allied fields particularly Horticulture, Fisheries, Dairy, Forestry, Engineering, Community and Applied Sciences etc.
- The advancement of learning and conducting research, seeking solutions to emerging problems in Agriculture, Agricultural Engineering, Animal Science, Community and Applied Sciences, Dairy and Food Science and other allied sciences.
- Transfer of technology to farmers and farming community and government and non government agricultural organizations through various extension programmes especially for the rural people of the state of Rajasthan.
- Providing diverse technical services and consultancy in industries allied to agriculture to optimize resource utilization and for proper harnessing of technologies generated in the laboratories and fields.
- Developing linkages nationally and internationally for education, research and extension education.The extension and research programmes have regional functions and are based upon priorities and requirements of identified micro-farming situations in three agro-climatic zones of the state.
To achieve the above objectives, the university has made untiring efforts and all developmental plans were strategically and effectively implemented, which resulted into rapid and systematic progress in all spheres of teaching, research and extension. The university has a good status among the Agricultural Universities in the country. This has become possible with the unstinted and genuine support of Government of Rajasthan and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. University is now actively involved in upliftment of socio-economic conditions of farming community particularly tribal in the south and south eastern Rajasthan by promoting efficiency in use of natural resources, ecological security and sustainability in productivity by crop diversification, quality seed production etc. Concerted efforts are being made on utilization of indigenous resources of energy, integrated nutrient management involving bio-fertilizers and vermi-composting, diversification of cropping systems, integrated pest management, judicious use of scarcely available irrigation water, rainwater harvesting management, processing and value addition, farm mechanization, women empowerment and ergonomics of farm women, entrepreneurial promotion, livestock improvement and production in order to attain a sustainable farming system. The university also supports the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices with the data base for cost of production estimates of major crops required for minimum support price policy of the Government of India.
To start with, Rajasthan College of Agriculture (RCA), College of Community and Applied Sciences (CCASc), College of Technology and Engineering (CTAE), College of Dairy and Food Technology (CDFT) at the erstwhile Udaipur campus of Rajasthan Agricultural University, Bikaner, Agricultural Research Stations, Sub-Stations, Livestock Research Stations as well as Krishi Vigyan Kendras in 10 districts in earmarked service area of the university were transferred along with staff and facilities to this newly created University as its constituent units. Later on the College of Horticulture and Forestry at Jhalawar (CHF) in 2004 and the College of Fisheries at Udaipur in 2010 were established. In order to address the socio-economic and policy planning research related issues of agriculture and allied areas a separate cell named as “Socio-Economic and Agricultural Policy Planning Research Cell” has been established in the university.
The university has a full fledged Directorate of Research with comprehensive infrastructure for research both at headquarters and at different research stations. A number of research projects are in progress where in postgraduate students do participate by taking up their research problems under the main project with a specific objective(s). Many a times, the postgraduate students get financial help also in the form of research fellowship as provided in the project.
The Directorate of Extension Education is another important component of the university responsible for the development of extension education processes and transfer of technology to the stake holders. Farm advisory service, organization of field days, various trainings etc. through a number of Krishi Vigyan Kendras are some of the major activities of the directorate.
Keeping in view the above extensive academic programmes, the university has created a Directorate of Student’s Welfare with the aim to plan and organize the co-curricular activities for the students at the University and College level. The main objectives of the Directorate are to coordinate different activities of NCC, NSS, Sports, Literary, Cultural, Moral Education, Placement and Counseling etc. to facilitate the overall personality development and to inculcate the basic values amongst the young students of the university to groom them as a good citizen of the nation. The Directorate is also supervising the Students’ Union activities to allow them to work in a democratic way to solve the genuine problems of the students and to bridge the gap between the students and university administration.