Former Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar
Former Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar

Days after the protests against the three controversial farm laws completed seven months, former union Agriculture Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar, on Thursday, emphasised the need for a dialogue between the central government and the agitating farmers. “There is a deadlock between the central government and farmers. That is why they are still sitting there. The centre should have a dialogue with them," he noted.

Pawar said, during the two-day monsoon session of the Maharashtra Legislature on July 5 and July 6, a discussion may not take place on the three farm laws passed by the central government, including the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

“Had a discussion with Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat, who heads the Cabinet Sub Committee to study these farm laws. The central government has cleared the bills. Before passing them, states should discuss the contentious points and decide. I don't think it'll come up in the two-day session. If it comes, it should be discussed,” said Pawar.

Thorat has explained that the state government is still studying the manner in which the contentious aspects of the legislation can be done away with, he said. Pawar’s statement is important as the Congress-ruled states Punjab, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh had enacted new laws to bypass the farm acts.

Meanwhile, Pawar said agricultural universities are essential to strengthen the country's economy. He was speaking at a function to virtually inaugurate the DY Patil Agriculture and Technical University located at Talsande in Maharashtra's Kolhapur district. "If agricultural growth and progress is evident, the economic situation will automatically improve. Such universities are essential to uplift and strengthen the core of the Indian economic status. New innovations and technological advancements in agriculture through research in such universities will massively help the sector," he added.

The university will begin its operations for the academic year 2021-22. The curriculum has been designed with a 50 per cent focus on pure education, 30 per cent on practical education and the remaining 20 per cent on experiential learning.

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