Jorhat, Oct. 8: Learning has gone online in Assam Agricultural University and mobile solutions are in the pipeline to give farmers information on crops and weather, courtesy the Agricultural Innovative Partnership (AIP).
The AIP, a consortium of Indian agricultural universities and US land grant universities and various private sector enterprises, is implementing these projects at the university.
In India, Benaras Hindu University and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture and Technology, Meerut, besides AAU are in the partnership programme while Cornell University, University, Ohio State University, University of Georgia, Tuskegee University, University of California, Davis are in the US.
The Sathguru Management Consultants, Hyderabad, is co-ordinating and facilitating the implementation of the programme in these institutes.
They have helped the AAU to customise and implement an e-learning platform, Online Learning and Training, developed by the University of Zurich in Switzerland.
A meeting at AAU today took stock of the progress made by the university in implementing the projects under the AIP.
Addressing the meeting, professor C. Ramasamy, national co-ordinator, AIP, Sathguru Management Consultants, said to suit the needs of modern agriculture, technology has to be different, curriculum should be developed and the learning-teaching methodology changed.
Suresh Damodaran, project co-ordinator, Sathguru enumerated the achievements of the AIP.
Since 2012, Stefan Einarson, director, Information Technology, International Programmes, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, and his staff have conducted training programmes in e-learning and media production methodologies for a select group of staff, faculty and students of AAU.
The AIP has also supported the acquisition of software and hardware to run the programmes in the classrooms.
At present, these lectures can be revisited by students when required on a portal. Two such examples can be accessed on Youtube as well.
In the extension programme, database of 117 farmers have been created under the AIPís mobile solutions system and 14 tablets have been provided to Krishi Vigyan Kendras across the state so that there is a rapid technology dissemination to farmers on crop and soil.
Four short certificate courses in aquaculture, poultry, floriculture, goat breeding and rearing have also been developed under the programme.
A coffee table book, The Innovation Impact, was released during the meeting.
AAU vice-chancellor K.M. Bujarbaruah called for development of curriculum to focus on rural agriculture work experience (RAWE).
He, however, said the students becoming tech-savvy was a positive development but this technology should be used at the field level and the mobile solutions strengthened at the farmersí level.