The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister ShriNarendra Modi on March 17 approved to extend the grants-in-aid support to the existing network of 12 Agro-Economic Research Centres (AERCs) and three Agro-Economic Research Units (AERUs) for one more year that is up to 2017-18.
An amount of Rs.25 crore will be required to continue the grants-in-aid to the existing 15 AERCs/AERUs. The employees of 12 AERCs and three AERUs situated in different states will be benefited. This would provide policy oriented Agro Economic Research inputs through field studies and reviewing / monitoring of Flagship programmes of the agriculture and allied sector. This would lead to better agricultural development policy and programmes which in turn would raise employment potential in both Farm and Non-Farm areas.
It will be reviewed after one year for taking the final decision on the recommendations of the Review Committee, chaired by Dr. S.M. Jharwal, Chancellor, India Gandhi National Tribal University. This Committee was set up by the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DACFW) to review the functioning of AERCs/AERUs. The Review Committee has recommended that the AERCs/AERUs must be retained and strengthened and that the present pattern of grant-in-aid to these grass-root research institutions must be continued. The Committee has also made recommendations regarding functioning and improving governance of the AERCs/AERUs.