SRINAGAR: Lieutenant Governor on Monday flagged off a batch of 12 undergraduate students from SKUAST-Kashmir on a study tour to Kansas State University, USA.
The 12 undergraduate students are from the faculties of Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry. They will be visiting USA under the Student Overseas Fellowship Programme of the National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) funded by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) & World Bank.
The 2-months long capacity-building fellowship will expose the undergraduate students to global learning ecosystem, farmer communities and industrial establishment.
Under the programme, the students will spend minimum two months in USA, primarily in ‘Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab’.
The students based on their areas of interest will be attached to relevant faculty and student groups to expose them to the global learning ecosystem and to imbibe new ideas, educational and research system of USA, and explore opportunities for higher studies in USA.
On the occasion, the Lt Governor observed that India’s collaboration with USA in agriculture & technology goes back to several decades. “As the world moves towards a knowledge economy, students from SKUAST will benefit from experience of Kansas University in agriculture extension, farm-to-market linkages, weather & crop forecasting”, he said.
The Lt Governor while interacting with the group of UG students extended his good wishes for the success of two month overseas learning program.
The Lt Governor said the National Education Policy-2020 empowers young students to engage not only in advanced research but also in various other fields which facilitate development of new and innovative technologies and their commercial development. “The international outreach initiative of SKUAST-K is in line with NEP-2020”, he added.
The Lt Governor stressed upon students and faculties to focus on necessary experimental skills and familiarity with the requirement of modern agriculture and allied sectors.
Enquiring about the tie-ups of the University with the other Universities and technical institutions, the Lt Governor impressed upon the Vice-Chancellor of SKUAST-K to explore every opportunity of students and faculty exchange programmes.
Noting that under the New Industrial Development Scheme, special provisions are kept for agri startups and entrepreneurship, the Lt Governor impressed upon the faculty members for dedicated focus towards the development of ecosystem of startups and enterprise in agri-technologies by sensitizing students of agriculture universities. He also called for establishment of a research Center for seed development.
Dr Parvez Sofi, Associate Professor will accompany the students on the study tour as a faculty facilitator. The batch comprises of 10 female and two male students, including two from the UT of Ladakh, which is also a reflection of empowerment of women in the UT.
Kansas State University is the first ‘Land Grant University in Agriculture Education, Research and Extension with globally acclaimed academic and research programme.
During the programme the students, in addition to Kansas State University, will also visit various other US Universities including Oklahoma State University, Iowa University, Nebraska University as well as Kansas University.
Moreover, they will be exposed to farmer communities, industry establishments as well as cultural houses of USA for overall development in a truly global environment.
The programme is being supervised by Prof PV Vara Prasad, University distinguished Professor and Director, Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab, Kansas University.
Prof Nazir Ahmad Ganai, Vice-Chancellor, SKUAST Kashmir; Dr M N Khan, Director Education; Dr Rehana Kant, Dean Faculty of Agriculture, and Dr Parvez Ahmad Sofi, Associate Professor were present on the occasion.