Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Solan, was established on 1st December, 1985 with the objective to promote education, research and extension education in the fields of Horticulture, Forestry and allied disciplines. Late Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar, the first Chief Minister and the architect of Himachal Pradesh perceived the importance of Horticulture and Forestry to develop and improve the State economy which led to the establishment of this University. Its history lies in erstwhile Himachal Agricultural College, Solan, established in 1962 and affiliated to the Panjab University. It became one of the campuses of Agriculture Complex of Himachal Pradesh University on its formation in 1970. Consequent upon the establishment of Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya in 1978, this campus became its Horticulture Complex and finally in 1985, assumed the status of a State University, being the only University in the country engaged exclusively in teaching, research and extension in Horticulture and Forestry.
The University is located at Nauni in Solan District of Himachal Pradesh, 13 km from Solan on Solan-Rajgarh Road, at an elevation of 1300 metres above mean sea level. Solan town is situated on national highway (NH-22) and is well connected by train and bus services.
The University has four constituent colleges, out of which, two are located at the main campus Nauni, one for horticulture and the other for forestry, having 9 and 7 departments, respectively. The third College i.e., College of Horticulture & Forestry is located at Neri in Hamirpur District on Nadaun-Hamirpur state highway, about 6 Km from Hamirpur town and is well connected with bus service. The college offers three Undergraduate Degree Programmes i.e. BSc (Hons.) Horticulture, BSc (Hons.) Forestry and B. Tech. Biotechnology and MSc degree programme in a few subjects. The fourth college i.e. College of Horticulture and Forestry, Thunag (Mandi) is located at Thunag District Mandi. This college offer BSc (Hons.) Horticulture and BSc (Hons.) Forestry degree programme. In addition, there are five Regional Research Stations, 12 Satellite Stations and five Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) situated in different zones of the State.
This is a residential University and all the students are required to reside in the hostels, unless otherwise permitted. The University follows the semester system of education which requires continuous hard work and regularity on the part of the students in the classes throughout the semester.
Under the new system of examination for Undergraduate students, evaluation is partially external and partially internal.
The education aims at an all-round development of the personality of the student and the University provides necessary facilities to achieve this objective. Emphasis is laid on the high academic standards and discipline. The University also provides facilities for different games and sports, NCC/NSS and other co-curricular activities (literary, cultural, hobby development, etc.). These activities are looked after by the Students Welfare Organization.
The University has a faculty of 237 teachers/scientists out of which 169 teachers/ scientists are posted at the main campus catering to the needs of teaching, research and extension education activities at the main campus.
The Colleges have well equipped laboratories and class rooms with state of art instruments and teaching aids. Separate laboratories for conducting undergraduate practicals are available besides postgraduate laboratories catering to latest research. Being farm university, it has a vast experimental area of about 550 hectare at main campus and 202 ha with Regional Horticulturals Research & Training Stations and Krishi Vigyan kenderas (KVK), provided with modern facilities like polyhouses, glass houses, mist chambers, sprinklers/drip irrigation system, precision farming etc. Besides, herbal garden and demonstration area serve as effective live tools for easy learning.
The University library named after Satya Nand Stokes, the visionary, who introduced Delicious varieties of apples in Himachal Pradesh, thus ushering in a horticulture revolution, is housed in a vast ventilated building offering conducive environment for study. The library has, at present, a stock of 42769 books covering areas of horticulture, forestry and allied sciences, and subscribes to 116 scientific journals. Besides, with effect from 27th July, 2008, access to more than 2000 electronic journals through CERA (Consortium for e-Resources in Agriculture) has been provided for easy tracking of literature by students and faculty. It has acquired all important data-bases on CD-ROM accessible on CD-NET like AGRIS, HORT-CD, TREE-CD, CAB-CD, Encyclopedia Britanica and Mc Graw-Hill Multimedia Encyclopedia of Science & Technology, etc.
The University has a separate computer centre which provides information technology facilities to all staff and students besides connectivity to National Network under Agricultural Research Information System (ARIS) of ICAR. All academic departments and offices within the campus have connectivity through Local Area Network for resource sharing and exchange of information. It is on global network through Internet and E-mail facilities. In addition, each College has full fledged "Education Technology Cell" providing free service to all the students. There is also one bioinformatics sub-centre which provides support base in Bioinformatics and access to various databases and softwares in specific areas of horticulture and forestry.
The Students' Welfare Organization of the University attends to the residential requirements, sports, cultural/co-curricular activities, NCC/NSS and medical care of the students. The University has a placement cell for career counselling. The University has eight hostels, four for boy students and four for girl students. Each hostel has a common room equipped with TV and facilities for indoor games and a badminton court. Besides, there is one international hostel for foreign national students. Important newspapers and magazines are also subscribed for general reading of the students in the hostel. The University has a big playground where facilities for all outdoor games and sports exist. In order to cater to the need of indoor games, a national level indoor gymnasium is nearing completion. The students are encouraged to participate in District, State and Inter-University Competitions. The campus has facilities of student centre, shopping centre, banks, post and telegraph office.
NCC, NSS, sports and games are compulsory for all undergraduate students. However, the girls, foreign nationals and inservice candidates are exempted from NCC. Physical Education is compulsory except for inservice candidates.
The University has a Health Centre with the staff strength of a senior medical officer, lady doctor, two pharmacists, lab technician and staff nurse. The medical facilities including ambulance services are available to all the students and residents round the clock.