:REGISTRATION:          :LOGO:

History tells back to the huge famine in Bengal and Orissa in 1866. A Commission was established in the context of that famine and as per the recommendation of that Commission, Govt. established the Department of Agriculture in 1871. Allan Octavian Hume was appointed as the first Agriculture Secretary. Later on, in 1881, under the leadership of Viceroy Lord Ripon many projects on Agriculture Development were taken up by the Govt. Large no. of posts were created. In Bengal, the first Agriculture Secretary was appointed in 1901.

The posts of Director of Agriculture and other Specialists were created in 1905. The 'Cadre Service' was introduced in the Department of Agriculture in 1915, viz., Bengal Provincial Agriculture Service, Sub-Ordinate Agriculture Service, Class-I (SAS Class-I), SAS Class-II and Lower SAS (Total 4 nos.). Bengal was divided into 3 circles viz., Eastern Zone, Western Zone and Northern Zone. One Deputy Director of Agriculture was entrusted to look after the works in each circle. After the recommendations of the Royal Commission, the rural reconstruction works started in 1926. The Horticultural farm at Krishnanagar was established in the year 1928. Jute Regulation Act was passed in 1940 and license was issued to the jute growers in the tenure of Chief Minister Fajlul Haque. Large no. employees were appointed for this purpose. First survey on Agricultural land was initiated under the leadership of Jute Commissioner A.K.M. Ishaque,.

The concept of Agricultural Extension was first specified by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore in his writings on Rural Organization. Different Societies and Agencies were thereafter engaged in agricultural extension and rural development works. In the mean time, there arose acute need for extra food for the defence personnel engaged in the Second World War which started in 1942. "Produce More Food" campaign was started by the Govt. and it planned to produce coarse cereal crops after 30 lakh rural people died due to unprecedented famine in Bengal. During Independence in 1947, our Country had a non-integrated, dis-jointed, lack of infra-structural facilities and vision less system in Agriculture.

Directorate of Agriculture with its permanent structure was established in 1950-51. At that time, WBHAS and WBAS cadre were enjoying Gazetted status and the rest SAS Class-I and Class-II were in non-gazetted rank. To combat deprivation and oppression of the Authoritarian Govt. against the Agricultural Technologists working under the Deptt. of Agriculture, SAS Class-I Association was established in 1951 (approved under G.O. No. 3106 dated 04.05.1951) to motivate members in organizing protest movement to achieve long pending charter of demands.

It's a red letter day in the History of the Association of the Agricultural Technologists working in the Department of Agriculture, Govt. of West Bengal. Dr. Prasanta Mazumder was the 1st General Secretary, then Sri Biman Dutta shouldered the responsibility of the General Secretary for a long time. Sri Biren Chandra Dutta officiated as General Secretary for a short period. Then Dr. Debabrata Mukherjee & later Sri Soumendra Lal Roy acted as General Secretary. In 1964-65 Sri Panchanan Kuwar was the General Secretary. Sri Dinendu Sekhar Pal was elected as General Secretary in 1967.

In the initial stage, membership of the Association was open to Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing, Animal Resources and Forest Department but from the year 1956, only the Agricultural Technologists became eligible for member of the Association.

In 1956, the Association started movement and demanded "Same status of the Officers of Agriculture Department with the Health and Engineering Departments" but the Authoritarian Administration didn't pay any heed to the legitimate demand. At that time, the pay scale of State Agril. Technologists was only Rs.80-120/-.

Later on, "Nalagar Committee" recommended that for the development of Agriculture in our country, the Agricultural Technologists deserve equal status with ICS/IAS officers. Likewise, this proposal was also not granted by the Govt. Protest rally by the Agricultural Technologists started throughout the country. At this juncture "All India Agricultural Service Association" was established.A general meeting was organized in 1965 at Rice Research Station, Chinsurah. Sri Shibsankar Banerjee presided over the meeting. The main objectives of "All India Agricultural Service Association" was :-i) All round development of the Agricultural Science and to take necessary steps for dessimation of the technology among the farmers, ii) Job security of the Agril. Technologists working under Govt. and private sector, iii) To initiate proposals, schemes and plans for agril. development through out the country. West Bengal took the initiative for formation of this Association. Due to various reasons the movement was not continued.

Meanwhile, Govt. stressed upon Agriculture Sector and increased the budget provision. New schemes were introduced viz., distribution of fertilizer, seed treatment, cultivation under Japanese method, distribution of Dhaincha seed for Green manuring, aforestation, distribution of improved seeds etc. Agricultural Training Centers were established at Coochbehar, Malda, Chinsurah and Fulia for imparting training to the officers, staff and farmers. In 1968, Agro-Industries Corporation Ltd. was established for supply of quality inputs. Seed Store Godowns were also established for storing of improved seeds. Sisal Farm was established at Rajnagar, Birbhum for cultivation of commercial crops for the Dryland areas. Assessment & Evaluation wing of the Agriculture Directorate was also established at that time. Govt. started investing huge capital in Agriculture. Agricultural production also increased. Mostly the big farmers reaped the benefit but side by side a good no. of small and marginal farmers have lost their arable lands. The Land Reforms Act was not implemented by the Govt. due to political biasness and compulsion.

In 1967, the Association submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister, Sri Ajoy Mukherjee. The Hon'ble Chief Minister personally received the memorandum. The Association organized procession and rally from the Monument (Sahid Minar) to the Writers' Buildings. Dr. Kanailal Bhattacharjee and other Hon'ble Ministers deliberated their views in favour of the demands before the rally. This was the first incident of mass procession by the Gazetted officers for submitting charter of demands to the Hon'ble Chief Minister. Many MLA and MPs witnessed the rally in front of the main gate of Writers' Buildings. All the media had given good coverage of the rally. Besides, Association also organized deputation to the MLA/MPs at the District levels prior to the rally.

In 1967, Sri Dinendu Sekhar Pal was elected as General Secretary of the Association. Election procedure for the post of General Secretary was first introduced in that year. At this time, General Secretary visited all the districts as per direction of the Central Executive Committee and the Association took a solid and concrete form. The Central Executive Committee meetings were held in the Districts also.

A Seminar was organized by the Association on "Rice Cultivation" at Information Center, Calcutta. Professor Satyen Bose delivered the Inaugural Address in the Seminar. He stressed that discussion on science should be done in vernacular language. Eminent Agricultural Scientists, Botanists, Plant Breeders participated in the Seminar.

Associational activities were regularly published and circulated amongst the members through Bulletin. We salute the heroic efforts of our founder-members for their dedication, sacrifice and devotion. It was a tough time to fight against the Authority.

Memorandum was submitted to the Pay Commission in 1971 demanding Pay Scale of the Agricultural Technologists at per with Doctors and Engineers. The Central Executive Committee also maintained liaison with other Service Associations and joint meetings were also held.

Federation of Agricultural Technologists' Service Association (FATSA) was established at this time.

Association launched Statewide movement for the following demands:-

  • Introducing One line Administration
  • To declare SAS Class-I Service as Gazetted and converted as WBJAS
  • To convert SAS Class-I / WBJAS posts as WBAS by total merger
  • Same pay scale for same nature of work
  • Awarding of Technical status

At last, SAS Class-I was declared as Gazetted status and then the posts were converted into West Bengal Junior Agricultural Service. But Govt. didn't accept demand for total merger and the Association also officially refused to accept partial merger proposed by the Govt.

Association filed cases in the Hon'ble High Court for termination of Direct Recruitment in WBAS Cadre and judgment was passed by the Hon'ble High Court in favour of the Association.

At this time, the portfolio of District Representative was changed into District Secretary. Proportionate representation from the Research wing were included in the Central Executive Committee.

In 1968, the Association first donated fund to the Hon'ble Governor of West Bengal for the flood victims.

In 1973, "West Bengal Junior Agricultural Service Association" was established. Agricultural Technologists working in the Department of Agriculture gained popularity amongst the farmers for extension of latest technology for higher production of different crops.

West Bengal State Agricultural Technologists' Service Association (SATSA,WB) was established in 1980.

Political scenario in the State changed in 1977 and as a result Govt. Policy also changed. Land Reforms Act was enacted by the Govt., as a result no. of rural families engaged in Agriculture increased manifold. Modern scientific Technology oriented Agricultural System replaced the traditional one. "Training and Visit" programme funded by the World Bank started in our State. With the joint activities of the Department and SAUs the location specific technologies were evolved and production level of different crops went up. Linkage between Research and Extension has yielded good result in Agriculture.

In the changed scenario, SATSA,WB started movement for total merger of the WBJAS Cadre to WBAS Cadre like in Health and Engineering Services. At last, Govt. agreed with the demand and issued Notification on 19th August,1983 for Up-Gradation of the WBJAS Cadre to WBAS Cadre ( both Administration & Research Wings ) instead of total merger of the junior service.

During the Eighties, Govt. gave more importance to the Agricultural Technologists in Agricultural Planning, formation of different Schemes to feed the people as Arable lands are decreasing due to Industrialization and other developmental works. But at the same time, it is also observed that the Association didn't utilize this congenial time to achieve various basic demands from the Govt., though other Service Associations were more benefitted in achieving their demands from the Govt.

In the year 1995-96, members were organized throughout the State and raised different issues about transparency, authoritarian attitude against the ruling office bearers of the Association. The new Central Executive Committee was formed through election in 1996 and brought out a qualitative change in the History of our Association.

The new Central Executive Committee took the initiative for fulfilling the basic / fundamental demands and convinced the Govt. for meeting the same.

GENERAL SECRETARY, SATSA, WEST BENGAL
 Year  Name of General Secretary
 1951   PRASANTA MAZUMDER
 1952   BIMAN DUTTA
    BIREN CHANDRA DUTTA
    DEBABRATA MUKHERJEE
    SOUMENDRA LAL ROY
    
 1967, 1968   PANCHANAN KUAR
 1969   DINENDU SEKHAR PAL
 1970, 1971   SAMAR MITRA
 1972   PRITISHLAL BHOUMICK & BIJOY MITRA THAKUR
    
    A.C. RAHA
    NIHAR DEB RAY
    PRANAB KUMAR SENGUPTA
    KANAILAL GANGULY
    
    MANISH NARAYAN CHATTAPADHYAY
    BAIDYANATH SEN
 1987   NIRMAL KUMAR CHAKRABARTY
 1988   SUKHENDU SEKHAR ADHIKARI
 1989-95   NIRMAL KUMAR CHAKRABARTY
 1996,1997   ASHOKE KUMAR ROY
 1998,1999   AMIT KUMAR SEN
 2000,2001   DIPANKAR BHADRA
 2002,2003   NAYAN KUMAR DAS
 2004   ASIT BARAN SAHA
 2005,2006   NAYAN KUMAR DAS
 2007-08   MURARI YADAV
 2009-10   MURARI YADAV
 2011&'12, 2013&'14, 2015&16   GOUTAM KUMAR BHOWMIK