Gajapati district in South Odisha where M.S. Swaminathan School of Agriculture (MSSSOA) is located is one of the 50 poorest districts of India. In 2011, South Odisha had a population of 81 lakh comprises 45.5% ST and 15.8% SC, with 17.4 lakh rural households and 2 lakh urban households. 90% people in the region live in the rural areas. Their livelihood is primarily based on subsistence agriculture, forest produce, wage labour and distress migration.
As identified by the Food Security Atlas of Rural Odisha (2008), the zone of acute food insecurity in the state comprises Kandhmal, Malkangiri, Rayagada and Gajapati districts of Odisha. The Atlas also suggests that for the livelihood development of hill-forest-based population, following strategic interventions will be required.
- Implementation of the Forest Rights Protection Act so as to provide security of tenure
- Investment to enable a shift to production of high value crops
- Expansion of irrigation in a manner appropriate to hill and plateau regions
- Improvement of rural connectivity, so as reduce transaction and transport costs and increase economic opportunities
- Shortening the chain of intermediaries and promoting value-added processing in non-timber forest products (NTFP)
Given the above context (socio-economic condition of the people and the local ecosystem) MSSSOA has adopted the national agenda of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 through technology based, market linked and sustainable ecosystem.
The University has incubated many social enterprises and outreach entities under the umbrella of Gram Tarang in the areas of employability enhancement, financial inclusion, agri-processing, last-mile supply chain and biotechnology. MSSSOA has established close operational relationship with community and network of companies in agroindustry, NGOs and Government Organizations to enrich its educational offerings.Its the top Agriculture colleges in Odisha .
The school has full-fledged departments with requisite facilities, wherein undergraduate programmes are offered for fulfilling the mandatory objectives. Each and every section/ department of the School is headed and staffed with well qualified and highly experienced faculty. Through Department of English, the students are imparted knowledge in vocabulary, reasoning, English aptitude, Communication skills and Personality development required for placement.
The School has implemented a number of Natural Resource Management (NRM) practices in the campus having around 1600 mango trees and 600 teak and other plants of different varieties. These include watershed development, recharging ground water and soil nutrition management. During recent cyclone, Titli, on 10th and 11th October 2018, a large part of vegetation, demonstration labs and facilities in the campus and agricultural farms got damaged severely.
The School has well-equipped library with Wi-Fi connectivity and Internet accessing facility. It provides a sound physical and digital learning environment round the clock. The learning materials are in the Printed, Audio and Visual form. The library is integrated into the University’s Management Information System (MIS). It deploys Open Access system with different work stations.
The School has moved in to digital platform. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) for on line attendance, e-notices, e-SMS, online faculty feedback, e-opinion polling, e-library, online exams, seating and invigilation plan, e-learning management, material and mark posting etc.
Being a residential program, the School encourages students and faculty to live on campus. It has adequate accommodation in the campus. About 80% students and 50% faculty and supporting staff stay on campus. There are 10 hostels (6 for boys with 304 rooms accommodating 1021 students and 4 for girls with 104 rooms accommodating 318 students). The School has 12 A type, 12 B type and 20 C type quarters for faculty and staff.
The School has well developed play grounds for football, Hockey, Cricket, Volley ball, Tennis court, Basket Ball court, Badminton court, gymnasium, etc. The School regularly organizes inter and intra University sports meets.
Clubs and Extra Curricular Activities:
The students run Health Club, Yoga Club, Adventure Club, Meditation Club and Karate Club under the guidance of respective faculty in-charges. The students regularly participate in cultural, NSS, NCC and other socially responsible activities.
The campus has an air conditioned restaurant, bank (Oriental Bank of Commerce), dispensary with a doctor and three paramedical staff and ambulance with two drivers