The top-ranking agricultural universities (AUs) in India are regulated by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) which is an autonomous body that functions under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education, Ministry of Agriculture. ICAR is the largest network of agricultural research and education institutes in India and in the world.
Indian Colleges for Agricultural Studies and Career Scope
At present, there are over 70 agricultural universities across India that offer undergraduate (UG), post-graduate (PG), doctoral (PhD) and research programmes to students in agriculture and related fields. Also, there is plenty of scope after graduating from any of India’s agricultural universities. For example, graduate students can apply for professions like Agriculture Officer, Research Scientist, Agriculture Expert, Production Manager, and Farm Manager, to name a few.
Agriculture is the art and science of soil conservation, crop cultivation and livestock breeding. It includes the preparation of products of plant and animal origin for human use and distribution in markets. In India, agriculture is the backbone of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) and has a direct effect on the economy. Not only that, but India also exports a large portion of its agricultural produce to the world.
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Moving on, let us now take a quick look at some of the top-ranking agricultural universities of India that are great institutes for those aspiring to pursue professional skills in agriculture and related studies.
List of 20 ICAR-Ranked Best Agricultural Colleges & Universities to Study in India
The following list includes names of the twenty best agricultural universities ranked by ICAR across India.
Note: Due to the limitation of this article, we have provided links to the websites of the respective institutions, where you can find details about admission, fee structure, UG/PG/Diploma/PhD syllabus, faculty, regulations, accommodation, placements etc.
1. ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute
City: Karnal, Haryana
The National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) located in Karnal, Haryana, is often regarded as one of the country’s premier dairy research institutions. It has developed significant expertise over the past five decades in the dairy sector, including Dairy Production, Processing, Management and Human Resource Development. The institute has contributed a lot to the growth of India’s dairy industry and played a crucial role in the development of milk production with its continuous research.
NDRI’s lineage goes back to the Imperial Institute for Animal Husbandry & Dairying which was set up in Bangalore (now Bengaluru), Karnataka in 1923 as a centre for dairy education. In 1936, it was renamed Imperial Dairy Institute and was shifted to its present location in Karnal in 1955 and renamed again as National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI).
NDRI provides high-quality education in the field of dairying, which has no parallel in Asia. The institute offers academic programmes in the field of Dairy Science. At present, the programmes which are being offered to students include B. Tech (Dairy Technology), Masters Programme in 13 disciplines and a Doctoral (PhD) Programme also in 13 disciplines. The institute also offers programmes for Diploma in Dairy Technology (DT) and Diploma in Animal Husbandry & Dairying.
2. ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute
City: New Delhi
The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) is a post-graduate (PG) school that started offering agriculture education to students in 1923. The institute was founded in 1905 and was granted the status of a Deemed-to-be University in 1958 under UGC Act, 1956, and its diploma was replaced with M.Sc. and PhD. Its Diploma course is recognised as equivalent to the M.Sc. degree of Indian Universities by the Ministry of Education (MoE). The institute has a long record of excellence in higher education and training in Agricultural Sciences.
IARI offers a two-year Post-Graduate course to both national and foreign students leading to a Diploma of Associateship of IARI (Associate IARI) in various disciplines, such as Agricultural Bacteriology, Agricultural Botany, Agricultural Chemistry, Agronomy, Entomology, Horticulture, Mycology and Sugar-cane Breeding.
As of now, IARI is offering M.Sc. and PhD. degrees in 26 disciplines at the main campus and M.Sc. in selected disciplines at IARI, Assam and Jharkhand campuses. The institute also started offering PhD. degrees in selected disciplines at CIAE, Bhopal and IIHR, Bengaluru, and M.Sc. degrees in selected disciplines at NIASM Baramati, NIBSM, Raipur and IIAB Ranchi.
3. ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute
City: Izatnagar, Uttar Pradesh
The Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) is a co-educational post-graduate school for both national and foreign students. It is also given the status of a Deemed to be University by UGC. The institute was founded in 1889 as Imperial Bacteriological Laboratory at Pune, Maharashtra then moved to Mukteswar, Uttarakhand, and moved again to its present location in the Izatnagar region of Bareilly city, Uttar Pradesh, for large-scale production of serum and vaccines. IVRI is a leading research institution in India that is dedicated to livestock research and the development of the region. The Institute has a core mandate for research, teaching, consulting and technology transfer. It contributes immensely to human resource development in the discipline of veterinary sciences with skills and knowledge.
The institute awards degrees to master and doctoral programmes in more than 20 disciplines of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Livestock Products Technology, Basic Sciences and Extension Education. It also conducts diploma courses in Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Animal Husbandry, Veterinary Biological Products, Animal Reproduction, Poultry Husbandry, Medicine and Surgery, Zoo and Wild Animal Health Care and Management, and Meat and Meat Products Technology.
IVRI offers Master’s and Doctoral programmes in 19 and 17 disciplines, respectively. It has campuses at Mukteswar (Uttarakhand), Bengaluru, and regional stations at Palampur (Himachal Pradesh), Kolkata and Pune.
4. G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology
City: Pantnagar, Uttarakhand
G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology has two constituents, one is the College of Agriculture (COA) and the other is the College of Technology (COT). The university is situated in Pantnagar town in Uttarakhand (separated from Uttar Pradesh). Founded in 1960 as the first agricultural university of India, it was then known as the Uttar Pradesh Agricultural University or Pantnagar University. It was renamed to G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, which is named after the first Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Govind Ballabh Pant.
The institute offers undergraduate, post-graduate, doctoral and research programmes to students. Its Masters and PhD students are part of the College of Post-Graduate Studies. The minimum duration of all UG programmes of the university is 4 years, except BVSc &AH, which is of 5 years (i.e. 10 semesters). Also, all the UG programmes are infused with extensive practical training and include one semester of compulsory internship/work experience.
Its Masters’s programmes are of 2 years (4 semesters), except MCA which is of 3 years. The normal duration for PhD is 6 semesters. The university follows a credit-based GPA (Grade Point Average) system for evaluation.
5. Punjab Agricultural University
City: Ludhiana, Punjab
Punjab Agricultural University was established in the year 1962 in Ludhiana, Punjab. The university has five constituent colleges, viz. College of Agriculture, College of Agricultural Engineering & Technology, College of Basic Sciences & Humanities, College of Community Science & College of Horticulture and Forestry, besides PAU Pre-Graduation Institutes of Agriculture at Gurdaspur and Bathinda.
The College of Agriculture is the oldest and the largest of the four constituent colleges of Punjab Agricultural University. The college imparts quality education, generates unmatched research output and reaches out to the peasantry through a large network of 10 departments/schools. The college has thus far contributed to the human resource pool of agriculture and allied sectors.
The university has 32 departments and 3 schools in the four constituent colleges. It offers 11 undergraduate programmes, 43 post-graduate programmes and 29 PhD programmes at Ludhiana and outstations. The university also has 8 Research Stations. The institute has played a key role in increasing food production in Punjab state and ushering in an era of the Green Revolution in India. It also has made notable contributions in increasing livestock and poultry production in the state.
6. University of Agricultural Sciences
City: Bengaluru, Karnataka
The University of Agricultural Sciences located in Bengaluru, Karnataka. is an academic partner with several national and internationally reputed organisations, which help in moulding Post Graduate students in their future careers in academics, research and extension.
The University offers 6 undergraduate (B.Sc. and B.Tech.) degree programmes in the faculty of Agriculture. These programmes are of 4 years duration and have been spread over six different campuses of the University. The Master’s degree programmes are offered in the faculty of Agriculture, Horticulture, Sericulture, Agricultural Marketing & cooperation and Agricultural Engineering. The residential requirement for a Master’s degree programme is 2 years and the time limit for completion is 4 years.
The Doctoral degree programmes are offered in the faculty of Agriculture and Horticulture. The residential requirement for PhD. degree programme is 2 years.
7. ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Education
City: Mumbai, Maharashtra
The Central Institute of Fisheries Education (CIFE) is a leading Fisheries University in India. It has emerged as a centre of excellence for higher education in fisheries and allied disciplines. CIFE is a Deemed to be University established in 1961 in Bombay (now Mumbai), Maharashtra. The university was started with the assistance of UNDP to promote fisheries education in the country by training officials from state governments. It was initially under the administrative control of the Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India, and subsequently transferred to ICAR in 1979. The institute has also been deeply engaged in orienting, grooming and preparing professionals from the Afro-Asian countries in the fisheries and aquaculture sector.
CIFE includes higher fisheries education, research as well as extension education under its functional fold. The university offers two years of Masters (M.Sc. and Masters in Fisheries Science or M.F.Sc.) and three years of Doctoral (PhD.) degrees in as many as eleven specialised disciplines of fisheries sciences. Since its recognition as Deemed to be University in 1989, under Section 3 of the University Grants (UGC) Commission Act, 1953, CIFE started offering its own degrees to the students.
At present, the University is organised into six major functional Divisions/Departments each of which offers one or two Master’s and Doctoral programmes in related disciplines.
8. Tamil Nadu Agricultural University
City: Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) is a state university accredited by the ICAR and NAAC. The university was established in 1971 and is recognised by UGC, and works in accordance with the Tamil Nadu Directorate of Education. The university has several constituent colleges all over the state offering undergraduate, postgraduate and diploma programmes in agriculture and allied fields.
TNAU offers undergraduate (B.Sc., B.E., B.Tech., and B.S.), post-graduate (M.Sc.) and diploma programmes to the students. The various degree programmes that are offered include Agriculture, Horticulture, Home Science, Forestry, Agricultural Engineering, Food Process Engineering, Agricultural Biotechnology, Bioinformatics, Agricultural Information Technology, Agribusiness Management, etc.
Apart from these academic programmes, the University also has research programmes at more than 32 stations spread throughout Tamil Nadu, with more than 1200 scientists and teaching faculty.
9. Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University
City: Hisar, Haryana
Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University (CCS HAU), or HAU, is one of the biggest agricultural universities in Asia. The university was founded in 1970 and is named after Chaudhary Charan Singh, who was India’s seventh Prime Minister.
HAU is a leader in agricultural research in India and contributed significantly to Green Revolution and White Revolution in India in the 1960s and 70s. It has several research centres throughout the state. Both national and international students take admissions at HAU to pursue their degrees in agriculture and related fields.
HAU offers undergraduate programmes leading to B.Sc. and B.Sc. (Hons.) in Agriculture, post-graduate programmes leading to M.Sc., M.Sc. (Hons.) and PhD. in different disciplines of agriculture and under different departments.
10. Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir
City: Srinagar, J&K
Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir (SKUAST) is a multi-campus university located at Shalimar, Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir. The university is named after the great patriotic leader Jenab Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, who is popularly known as “Sher-e-Kashmir”. SKUAST was established in the year 1982 through an Act of the J&K Assembly, and in the year1998-99, the University was renamed as Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir (SKUAST-Kashmir) and its territorial jurisdiction was redefined to Kashmir and Ladakh regions.
SKUAST offers undergraduate (7), master (57) and PhD (45) programmes in 61 divisions/departments in Agriculture, Sericulture, Horticulture, Forestry, Fisheries, Veterinary Sciences, Animal Husbandry and allied fields.
The various degree courses are offered to the students through its 7 colleges and faculties, which are the Faculty of Agriculture, College of Temperate Sericulture, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Faculty of Fisheries, Faculty of Forestry, Faculty of Horticulture, and College of Agri- Engineering and Technology, respectively.
11. Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University
City: Guntur, Andhra Pradesh
Acharya N. G. Ranga Agricultural University (ANGRAU) located in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, is a well-known agricultural college of India. The institute was established in 1964 and was known as Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University (APAU), but later, was renamed by State Government in memory of Acharya N. G. Ranga, a noted Parliamentarian and Kisan (farmer) Leader. ANGRAU has formed a new State Agricultural University called Prof. Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University with the bifurcation of the state of Andhra Pradesh as per the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.
The university offers 4 UG (B.Sc.), 22 PG (M.Sc.), and 16 PhD programmes, as well as 4 Diploma courses to the students. It also has 6 regional agricultural research stations and 27 research stations. The university serves the students and the farmers of 13 districts of the new State of Andhra Pradesh with renewed interest and dedication.
ANGRAU has also set up Open and Distance Learning Centres (ODLC) by Agricultural Scientists and Extension specialists in the state. The purpose of ODLC is to transform ANGRAU from its formal educational system to a dual and convergent mode by adopting appropriate policies and systems of ODL and ICT (Information & Communication Technology). This can help provide entrepreneurial skills for self-employment, continuing professional education and extension education to the rural people of the state.
12. Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University
City: Chennai, Tamil Nadu
The Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TNVASU) is one of the oldest veterinary colleges in India, dating back its establishment to 1876. At that time, after attaining the status of a college in the year 1903, the institute started by offering a three-year diploma course called GMVC (Graduate of Madras Veterinary College). TNVASU mainly offers degree programmes in veterinary science. It is affiliated to the University of Madras.
The institute offers undergraduate (B.V.Sc., A.H., B.Tech.) programmes in Food Technology, Poultry Technology and Dairy Technology; postgraduate (M.Sc., M.V.Sc., M.Tech.,) programmes in Food Technology, Bioinformatics/Biostatistics; and doctoral (PhD, M.Phil.) programme in Biotechnology. It also offers MBA programmes to students.
TANUVAS is an autonomous institution governed by its Board of Management which regulates the policies of the university in accordance with the provision of acts and statutes. It is a non-profit and fully funded by the Tamil Nadu State Government.
13. Central Agricultural University
City: Imphal, Manipur
The Central Agricultural University (CAU) has been established by an act of Parliament, the Central Agricultural University Act, 1992 of parliament with its headquarters at Imphal, Manipur. It is a fully residential university covering all the North-East hill states under its jurisdiction except Assam. Like other Agricultural Universities in India, the CAU also has integrated programmes of teaching, research and extension education. The College of Agriculture (COA) is a constituent college of Central Agricultural University, Imphal. COA was previously known as Manipur Agricultural College and is the first constituent college of Central Agricultural University established in 1993 under the Central Agricultural University Act passed by the Parliament of India.
The University offers 9 undergraduate, 45 master’s and 25 PhD degree programmes in various disciplines of Agriculture and Allied Sciences through its 13 constituent colleges located in seven states of the NE Region of India.
There are three entry points for getting admission in Central Agricultural University, Imphal. These are through the State Nomination, ICAR AIEEA, and Self-Financed Seat. CAU imparts education in different branches of agriculture and allied sciences as it may deem fit.
14. Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya
City: Palampur, Himachal Pradesh
Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya (CSKHPKV) came into being in after 1966 when a junior College of Agriculture was established at present-day Palampur, Himachal Pradesh under the aegis of Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Punjab. CSKHPKV was renamed from Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya in 2001. The University has a mandate for making provision for imparting education in agriculture and other allied branches, furthering the advancement of learning, and research and undertaking extension of such branches, especially to the rural population of Himachal Pradesh.
The four constituent colleges (Agriculture, Veterinary & Animal Science, Basic Sciences and Community Science) offer 6 Undergraduate programmes in the streams of Agriculture, Veterinary Sciences & Animal Husbandry, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Community Science and Food Technology, respectively. It offers 9 Master’s programmes in different disciplines of Agricultural studies. These include Biotechnology, Economics, Agronomy, Entomology, Genetics & Plant Breeding, Horticulture (Veg. Sciences), Plant Pathology, Seed Science &Technology and Soil Science & Chemistry via an M.Sc. Agriculture Degree programme.
The University also offers 5 distinct Master’s programmes in different disciplines of Animal Nutrition, Animal Reproduction & Gynaecology, and Vet. Microbiology, Vet. Pathology, Vet. Surgery and Radiology via M.V.Sc. Degree programme. It offers 7 distinct Doctoral programmes in different disciplines of Agriculture.
15. Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology
City: Udaipur, Rajasthan
Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology (MPUAT) is the second Agricultural University of the state established in 1999. It was previously called the Agricultural University, Udaipur. The university is accredited by ICAR and NBA and is recognised by AICTE.
MPUAT offers undergraduate (B.Tech.) and post-graduate (M.Tech.) degree programmes to students. The courses are provided in the disciplines of Agricultural Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Mining Engineering, Food Technology, Fisheries, Dairy Technology, and more.
The jurisdiction of MPUAT include constituent colleges, which are Agricultural Research Stations (ARSs), Agricultural Research Sub Stations (ARSSs), Livestock Research Station (LRS), Dryland Farming Research Station (DFRS), and Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs). These constituent units are spread over seven districts of the south and south-eastern parts of the state of Rajasthan. These districts are Udaipur, Rajsamand, Dungarpur, Banswara, Chittorgarh, Bhilwara and Pratapgarh.
16. Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya
City: Raipur, Chhattisgarh
Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya (IGKV) is the only agricultural university in the state of Chhattisgarh with a responsibility of agricultural education, research and extension of technologies. The university has a long history of services to the tribal farming community of this region. The major objectives of the university include making provision for education in agriculture and other allied sciences, carrying out research in agriculture and other allied sciences, undertaking field extension programs and improving the level of living of rural people.
The university offers undergraduate (B.Sc., B.Sc.Ag., B.Tech.), post-graduate (M.Sc., M.Tech., M.Sc.Ag.) and doctoral (PhD) degree programmes. The teaching is imparted in agriculture and agricultural engineering faculties through its 33 constituent and 15 affiliated colleges. There are nine research stations carrying out research in different areas, and 27 Krishi Vigyan Kendras involved in the dissemination of technologies to the farming community of the state.
IGKV has three distinct agro-climatic zones and has diverse conditions. The Bastar zone is among one the eight biodiversity hot spots in the country. The university is recognised as one of the most important biodiversity repositories in the world, particularly for rice and Lathyrus (Indian pea).
17. University of Agricultural Sciences
City: Dharwad, Karnataka
The University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) in Karnataka is popularly known as UAS Dharwad in the region. The university was established in 1986, and currently, it has 5 Colleges, 27 Research Stations, 6 Agriculture Extension Education Centres, 6 Krishi Vigyan Kendras and Agriculture Technology Information Centre (ATIC).
The university offers undergraduate (B.Sc.), post-graduate (M.Sc., M.H.Sc.), doctoral (PhD) programmes and diploma and certification courses to the students. The institute offers Doctoral programmes in various subjects under Agriculture and Home Science Faculty. It also offers a Master’s degree programme in MBA (Agribusiness).
The University has tri-fold functions of Teaching, Research and Extension in the field of agriculture and allied sciences. In its three decades of dedicated service, the University has earned the reputation of being a Farmer’s University in the region.
18. Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University
City: Ludhiana, Punjab
Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) situated in Ludhiana, Punjab, was established in 2005 to promote livestock production, health and prevention of diseases through integrated teaching, research and extension programmes. The university is named after Guru Angad Dev Ji, the second Sikh Guru (a religious teacher and priest). GADVASU is a co-educational agricultural university for both national and foreign students. It offers degree-level programmes and certification courses through its constituent colleges and universities in the region. These constituent units include the College of Veterinary Science, College of Fisheries, College of Dairy Science & Technology, College of Animal Biotechnology, College of Veterinary Science Rampura Phul and Veterinary Polytechnic Kaljharani.
The university offers Undergraduate (B.V.Sc., A.H., B.F.Sc., B.Tech), Post-Graduate (M.Sc., M.V.Sc., M.F.Sc., M.Tech), Doctoral (PhD), Diploma and Certification Courses in various disciplines to the students.
One of the university’s goals is to provide an adequate supply of trained veterinary professionals including Master’s and Doctorate level specialists capable of handling livestock health and production aspects according to the needs of the State Government and allied agencies.
19. Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology
City: Bhubaneswar, Odisha
Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) is the second oldest agriculture university in India. It was established in 1962. The university currently has a total of ten constituent colleges and a Centre for Post Graduate Studies under the University. Out of these ten colleges, six are in Bhubaneswar and four are situated outside this region.
The university offers Undergraduate, Post-graduate and Doctoral degree programmes in various disciplines to the students. Its Undergraduate courses are offered in departments of Agriculture, Veterinary Science & Animal Husbandry, Agricultural Engineering & Technology, Horticulture, Fishery Science, Forestry, Community Science, and Basic Science. Its Master’s programmes are offered in 16 disciplines each in Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, three each in Agricultural Engineering and Community Science, five each in Forestry and Basic Sciences and one in Aquaculture, respectively.
The university’s Centre for Post Graduate Studies offers Master’s courses in Computer Science and Application, Biotechnology, Bioinformatics and Agribusiness Management (available under self-finance schemes). Also, its Doctoral programmes are offered in 14 disciplines in Agriculture, 12 in Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry, three in the College of Agricultural Engineering, one in Fishery Sciences and five in Basic Science, respectively.
20. Anand Agricultural University
City: Anand, Gujarat
Anand Agricultural University (AAU) is situated in the state of Gujarat. The university was established in 2004, having been caved out of the erstwhile Gujarat Agricultural University (GAU). The AAU was set up to provide support to the farming community in three facets, namely education, research and extension activities in Agriculture, Horticulture Engineering, Product Processing and Home Science. It serves commodity sectors, such as soil health card, bio-diesel, and medicinal plants, apart from the mandatory ones like rice, maize, tobacco, vegetable crops, fruit crops, forage crops, animal breeding, nutrition and dairy products etc.
The university offers Undergraduate, Post-graduate and Polytechnic level programmes in various disciplines to the students. Its Undergraduate programmes are offered by B. A. College of Agriculture, College of Agricultural Information Technology, College of Food Processing Technology & Bio Energy, College of Agricultural Engineering & Technology (Godhra), College of Agriculture (Vaso), College of Horticulture and College of Agriculture (Jabugam). Its Post-graduate programmes are offered by the B. A. College of Agriculture, International Agribusiness Management Institute, College of Food Processing Technology & Bio Energy, and the College of Agricultural Engineering & Technology (Godhra).
At present, there are seven Colleges, seventeen Research Centres and six Extension Education Institutes working in nine districts of Gujarat. These districts are Ahmedabad, Anand, Dahod, Kheda, Panchmahal, Vadodara, Mahisagar, Botad and Chhotaudepur.
The best agricultural colleges and universities of India that are listed above are great institutions for students who want to pursue graduation in agriculture and allied fields.