IIT Kharagpur signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Vasantrao Naik Marathwada Krishi Vidyapeeth (VNMKV), Parbhani, Maharashtra on 03 May 2022 under the World Bank and ICAR sponsored project named “NAHEP-CAAST-DFSRDA” in the presence of Dr. Ashoke Dhawan, Vice Chancellor, VNMKV. The National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) – Centre of Excellence for Digital Farming Solutions enhances productivity by Agri – Bots, Agri – Drones and Agri – AGVs.
This institutional collaboration in various spheres of education will enable the students to acquire industry relevant education, training and skills. Both the institutions will indulge in the scope of cooperation in the field of curriculum development, student-intern programs, consultancy projects, faculty exchange programs, knowledge sharing, student mentoring, pilot and proof of concept programs. Further this association also aims at enhancing the technological, social and cultural relations through faculty and student exchange programmes, joint research projects, coordinated graduate degree programme and joint academic activities and events. Dr. Gopal U. Shinde, Principal Investigator, NAHEP-CAAST-DFSRDA, VNMKV, Parbhani will be the coordinator from VNMKV. This cooperation also aims at enhancing the technological, social and cultural relations of both the institutions.
Prof V K Tewari, Director, IIT Kharagpur remarked, “Agriculture is the mainstay of the Indian economy contributing about 18% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Rural India is now drastically moving towards digitization and technology. Today India has the potential economic value of $50-65 billion through digital agriculture by 2025, translating to 23% addition to the current value of agricultural produce. There are many pro-farmers apps that are helping the farmers with this transition of modernization. It’s time that we focus on Digital Agriculture with E-Utptadana.”
Vasantrao Naik Marathwada Krishi Vidyapeeth (VNMKV) is one of four Agricultural Universities in the State of Maharashtra established in May 18, 1972 to fulfill the regional aspirations of agrarian growth. It is entrusted with the responsibilities to provide education in agriculture, allied fields, humanities with research base to improve the productivity of important agri-horticulture, livestock, fisheries and agri-allied activities to undertake research and facilitate technology transfer in Marathwada region of Maharashtra.
Dr. Ashoke Dhawan, Vice Chancellor, VNMKV stated, “I am looking forward to this association with IIT Kharagpur where we can contribute effectively in creating Digital Farming Solutions.”
The NAHEP supports the Country Partnership Strategy and addresses the three engagement areas of integration, transformation and inclusion. These engagement areas foresee increased agricultural productivity and support quality improvements of higher education to create a more skilled workforce that continuously improves the productivity of key sectors, including agriculture. The proposed project is a Multi-Global Practice Collaboration between Agriculture and Education to support activities and results directly related to cross-cutting strategic areas of climate change, jobs and gender. The proposed NAHEP would contribute to the achievement of four Sustainable Development Goals by ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all; equal access to affordable vocational training; greater gender and wealth equity through universal access to quality higher education; support financial interventions that increase the supply of qualified technicians and teachers; promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth & employment; seeking higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgradation and innovation.
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