THE agricultural engineering graduates are being discriminated against as they are not considered for job opportunities in the Irrigation Department. Agri-cultural engineering is a specialised field encompassing a curriculum that covers 13 courses related to irrigation, drainage, hydrology, hydraulics, water management, soil and water conservation, and management.
In stark contrast, civil engineering graduates typically cover only five to six courses pertaining to irrigation and drainage during their undergraduate studies. This contrast implies that agricultural engineers are equally, if not more, equipped to apply engineering knowledge, principles, tools, and techniques to the realms of irrigation, drainage, soil and water resource management, and crop production.
The Irrigation Department has the vital responsibility of distributing and managing water resources for agri-culture. The department recruits professionals possessing the requisite skills and expertise to conceptualise, develop and execute efficient and sustainable irrigation systems.
This practice is inequitable and lacks justification, as agricultural engineers have dedicated years to studying and mastering the principles and practices of irrigation and water management. They have acquired the essential knowledge and skills needed to make valuable contributions to the development of sustainable and efficient irrigation systems.
The relevant minister, the irrigation secretary, the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) and the policymakers at large should review the recruitment policy of the Irrigation Department and allow agricultural engineers a level playing field so that may compete for the said positions through the Sindh Public Service Commission (SPSC).
Prof Altaf Siyal
Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2023