New Delhi: An agreement on Wednesday was signed between the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and the National Institute of Animal Welfare (NIAW) to start a course on animal welfare at the JNU with 200 students for the first year. The agreement was signed in the presence of Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar and HRD Minister Smriti Irani. "This course will help in preparing competent manpower to man various posts in zoos, municipalities, slaughter houses and veterinary hospitals. Such courses are offered in countries like Australia and New Zealand and now will be conducted by JNU in NIAW campus," Javadekar said here. He added that 100 days' time has been given to complete all the procedures to begin the courses. The NIAW, set up to meet the education and training needs of the animal welfare sector, had already launched short-term courses in 2005 and has so far trained more than 1,000 personnel. Javadekar said that the Ministry of Environment has sought JNU as an academic partner to help the institute in developing academic programmes according to national needs and global standards in the field of animal welfare. The government had estimated the net cost of the project at around Rs 88 lakh the first year and would enroll students for diploma and certificate courses. "JNU is a university that has name and credibility in academic activities and launching of this course is a good beginning for expanding its academic activities," Irani said.