'Azadi ka Amritmahotsav’ for Vets may become a reality

Pashu Sandesh, 14 March 2023

Veterinary Science cannot be treated as an allied subject of Agriculture Science. This is the recommendation given by the Veterinary Council of India in its 114th Executive committee meeting held on 02 March 2023. The argument given by the VCI for this recommendation is based on the fact that

  • Veterinary science is a professional course involving various disciplines for specialised Animal Health care including Diagnosis and the treatment of Diseases. 
  • With the advent of “ One Health Concept” which recognises the role of Zoonotic diseases in Human Health, which now requires the close working of Veterinarians and Human Health professionals.
  • Veterinary Science now a fully mature Science require continuous research and innovations which would require an environment for funding and other support. 
  • Indian Veterinary Council act 1984 already gives the Veterinary a distinct status and mandate for the Veterinary profession in the country.

This is for the first time that VCI has made such a clear recommendation which is bound to affect the future of the Veterinary profession in the country. The VCI president Dr Umesh Chandra Sharma and all the members of the executive committee need to be congratulated for clearly wording the need of the hour. It will surely pave the way for the creation of a dedicated council for Veterinary Research separate from ICAR. 

If we compare Veterinary education with Medical education, it's as clear as broad daylight the huge difference in the overall approach. Medical Education was motored by the then Medical Council of India (now National Medical Commission) which not only ensured the allocation of massive budgets for the Medical Education sector but also ensured continuous expansion by allowing private players to enter the arena under the strict vigilance of MCI. The veterinary profession and research on the other hand suffered while playing as an allied science to the Agriculture sector while looking at its growth through the lens of Agriculture Growth. 

Its high time Veterinary Science should be given its due credit and treated separately from Agriculture Science to ensure continuous growth, funding for opening new institutions, research and mass appeal among the future aspirants seeking higher education in life sciences while choosing fairly between Human and Animal Science. 

With the formation of a separate Ministry for Animal Husbandry, the Government acknowledged the key role of Animal Husbandry in the growth of the Indian economy and the hopes were high. The Animal Husbandry sector in comparison to the Agriculture sector has proven its immense potential with an annual growth rate of more than 6 % against 2% of the Agriculture despite facing many hurdles such as lack of funds, subsidies and a dedicated council for research.

Now it's high time that the Government and the Ministry as such take a cue from the recommendations made by the VCI and allow Veterinary to come out of the Agriculture Umbrella as an allied subject and soak in the Sunshine meant for Veterinary Science. As the country is Celebrating “ Aazaadi ka AmritMahotsav” in its 75th year of Independence the real Amritkaal for the Veterinary Profession hopefully should start when the Government recognises the Veterinary profession as an independent stream and not an allied sector of Agriculture.