VC SKUAST-K Reviews Progress Of World Bank-Funded IDP Project 

SRINAGAR: Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Kashmir Saturday held a meeting to review the progress of the World Bank-ICAR funded National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) awarded for the institutional development of the university in 2019.

The meeting was chaired by Vice-Chancellor, SKUAST-K Prof JP Sharma. This was the first meeting to assess the progress of the flagship project after Prof Sharma took charge as the VC of the university.

The three-year project is aimed to develop SKUAST-K as a model agricultural higher education institution and build next-generation human capital to drive the knowledge-based and technology-driven agri-economy of Jammu and Kashmir and the country. With the help of the NAHEP, SKUAST-K aims to become a preferred destination of agri-education for creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, besides the hardcore research and extension.

In his address, Vice-Chancellor Prof JP Sharma said all the workshops and training programmes conducted under the NAHEP should train students and help farmers in enterprise building, provide the linkages with the industry and handhold them through the various processes required for starting up.

Prof Sharma said as the university under the NAHEP has a particular focus on the skill-building of the students to make them innovators, entrepreneurs, and job-ready for the new-age industries, the upcoming innovation, incubation and entrepreneurship centre, and artificial intelligence centre at the university should be the state-of-the-art facilities not available elsewhere in Jammu and Kashmir. While lauding the PI NAHEP and other team members of the project for their marvellous work despite facing several roadblocks, he hoped that the university will achieve all the milestones set under the project.

SKUAST-K’s Director Planning and Monitoring and Principal Investigator of NAHEP, Prof Nazir Ahmad Ganai, gave a detailed overview of the project.

He said the Institutional Development Plan (IDP) of SKUAST-K seeks to link agricultural education with employment, entrepreneurship, and leadership, besides building resilient and environmentally sustainable infrastructure.

Talking about the progress of the project, he said despite facing the COVID19 pandemic, restriction on the internet and other problems, the university under the project organised 523 national and international training programmes and events, and 1200 online webinars in which more than 10,000 students participated during the financial year 2020-21. Also, about 750 student competitions, MOOC tests, quizzes and other such programmes, he said, were conducted during the said period. The university won 44 awards, secured three patents, and signed 12 MoUs with the reputed national and international universities and institutions as well as industry leaders. The university also won two innovation awards from BIRAC, Government of India. Under the NAHEP, the university organised 38 national and international faculty training programmes. During the period, three university students have started their agri-startups.

HRM Consultant Prof Farooq Ahmad Zaki gave an overview of the university collaborations. SKUAST-K under the project is collaborating with various institutions within the country and outside to provide students better research opportunities and exposure, he said, adding it is also fostering industry linkages to develop market-oriented human resources for facing the challenges of 21 century.

Dr Parvaiz Sofi, associate professor and a coordinator of NAHEP talked about the parallelism between the IDP of SKUAST-K and National Education Policy (NEP). Dr Farhanaz Rasool, in charge innovation and entrepreneurship cell, gave a detailed overview of the various entrepreneurship and skill programmes.  Dr Sameera Qayoom conducted the proceedings of the programme.

Dean Forestry Prof Tariq Masoodi, Associate Dean Prof AM Baqal, Associate Director Research Prof Azmat Alam Khan, Prof Raihanan Habib Kanth, Prof Imtiyaz Tahir Nazki, Dr Gohar Bilal Wani, IDP-NAHEP team members, and other staff members of the SKUAST-K were also present in the meeting

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