Vasantdada Sugar Institute (VSI) formerly known as Deccan Sugar Institute, is a very unique organisation. Established in the year 1975 by the sugarcane grower members of cooperative sugar factories in the State of Maharashtra, it is the only organization of its kind in the world. The Institute performs, under one umbrella, all scientific technical and educational functions relevant to the sugar and allied industry. The Institute strives for an all-round progress of the sugarcane farmer along with the sugar industry and to achieve this objective, it operates through three main channels viz., Academic, Extension and Research & Development. In its almost five decades of existence, VSI has played a stellar role in socio-economic development of rural Maharashtra and upliftment sugar cane farmers as well as technical personnel in the sugar industry through its excellent services in the above areas. It is a good example of application-based research with many labs to land transfers. This has resulted in spreading of the work across India. The Institute’s expertise has also been acknowledged internationally with on-site training and consultancy assignments from sugar producing countries across the world.
VSI is recognized as a Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (SIRO) by the Department of Science and Technology of the Central Government. It is also recognised as a Centre of Research for undertaking studies leading to Ph.D. degrees University of Pune and Shivaji University, Kolhapur. It was an ISO9001:2016 organisation till August 2022 and application for further accreditation is in process. The Institute also has four laboratories accredited by NABL under ISO17025:2017 including the laboratories of the Department of Environmental Sciences and Department of Alcohol Technology & Biofuels. The laboratories are also equipped with sophisticated instruments for analytical support in research and consultancy. The Institute is also accredited by the Quality Council of India- National Accreditation Board for Education & Training as an EIA Consultant Organisation which is necessary for consultants preparing Environmental Impact Assessment reports. The Ministry of Environment Forests & Climate Change accepts EIA reports prepared by accredited consultants only. In addition, the Institute is recognised as an Environmental Auditor by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board. The laboratory of the Department of Alcohol Technology & Biofuels is approved by State Excise Department, Government of Maharashtra for analysis of molasses, spirits, liquors, denaturants. The Institute is also designated as a third-party inspection of Grossly Polluting Industries (GPI’s) in the Ganga and Yamuna basin by the Central Pollution Control Board for the past three years.
The faculty of the Institute are involved in research as well as industrial consultancy in addition to teaching. This makes their knowledge of the subject very practical and up to date. This experience also helps in improving the quality of teaching and the students are benefitted. In addition, the excellent infrastructure facilities and live projects offer opportunities for hands on training for the students. Employers also prefer such students over others.