|• WHAT IS IT' A veterinary
• WHO’S THE BOSS' Dr Arun Bhokre is the dean.
• WHAT COURSES' Bachelors of veterinary science and animal husbandry (five years), masters in veterinary science (two years) and PhD.
• HOW CHEAP IS IT' Rs 10,000 per semester.
• WHERE TO STAY' The institute has separate hostels for boys and girls.
• WHERE IS IT' Bombay College of Veterinary Science Parel Tank Road, Parel, Mumbai 400012
Phone: 24130162 Website:www.mafsu.in
If you are a passionate animal lover and love tending to them, then a course in veterinary science from Bombay Veterinary College (BVC) should appeal to you. A serene and inviting ambience greets you when you set foot on this 120-year-old college spread across 157 acres in Mumbai's suburbs. It has two campuses, at Parel and a sub-campus at Goregaon.
One of the first things you will learn at BVC is that animals should never be taken for granted as they are intelligent creatures who deserve respect. As Shivani Tandel, a postgraduate student of avian medicine, says, 'Birds are smart and get around their problems on their own.' Tandel gives the example of the way injured birds free themselves of the plaster on their wings by wetting them.
A bill of fare
In terms of course options at BVC, students are spoilt for choice. They cover every area of veterinary science, from anatomy, poultry science to parasitology, microbiology and even gynaecology of animals. You could go for a BVSc, (bachelors in veterinary science) MVSc (masters in veterinary science) and PhD programmes.
BVC's animal husbandry (animal genetics and breeding) department is one of the oldest departments of the institute. It started off by teaching meat hygiene, animal management, meat and milk inspection. Today, the department also offers a PhD in animal genetics and breeding. Adapting to the times, the institute is offering interesting courses like livestock production and management. Known as the department of dairy science earlier, it offers postgraduate and undergraduate courses and has completed more than 34 research projects.
In addition to the MVSc and PhD research projects, 12 research schemes funded by ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) have been undertaken and 4 network programmes of ICAR are also in progress.
If you have passed out of BVC, placement is usually not a problem. 'Labs that conduct tests for food adulteration are active recruiters of our passouts,' says Dr Arun Bhokre, the college's dean.
The eligibility criteria for each of these courses are different. BVC is an affiliated college of the Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Sciences University (MAFSU). The MAFSU offers 266 seats for the course of BVSc and AH (animal husbandry) every year and the BVC has an intake of 58 students.
For this, the candidates have to appear for the MH-CET entrance examination conducted by the Directorate of Medical Education and Research, Mumbai, and must score a minimum of 50 per cent in the said examination. Alternatively, they can also sit for the All India Common Entrance Examination conducted by the Veterinary Council of India, New Delhi each year.
For the MVSc degree one has to apply in the prescribed application form provided by the university and the intake in this case is 38 seats out of which six seats are reserved.
Fun 'N' Frolic
To give respite to the academic pressure, students are encouraged to participate in extra-curricular activities. To that end, there is a sports complex along with an ultra modern gym. Facilities are also provided for indoor games like table tennis, carom, chess etc. There is an Ashwmedha sports event held every year.
The good thing about getting a degree in veterinary sciences is that if you don't fancy being directly involved with animals, you could make a career in the pharma industry working on vaccines and drug production and trials.
Dr Shyam Zawar, VP, Raymond's Cattle Research and Development
Veterinary science was certainly not my first choice. I opted for it because I could not afford the dentistry course. But once I was at the college, I enjoyed it. I did my masters in veterinary science (MVSc) in 1974. We had an excellent faculty.
We had a tough time since there was only one final exam and this added to our stress. But despite a rigorous schedule, we managed to squeeze in fun, what with the social gatherings. The ambience at the hostel was also quite cosmopolitan with students from Mauritius, Africa, Malaysia. The other thing we all welcomed was the government stipend of Rs 40, which was quite a bit in those days. At the masters level one even managed to earn the princely sum of Rs 700 by working as an assistant meat inspector at the Deonar Abattoir in Mumbai.
As told to Reena Martins