Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology in Bhubaneswar. Picture by Ashwinee Pati.
Bhubaneswar, Jan. 24: The Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) has introduced a project called Recognition of Prior Learning under its directorate of career counselling and entrepreneurship to certify skills acquired by workers in unorganised sectors in agriculture through traditional, non-formal learning channels.
The project will identify 2,500 workers engaged in nursery, mushroom, dairy, plant propagation and bee farming who will be given a short-term training at the university.
The project is particularly aimed to cater to the individuals who have typically picked up a skill while on the job, without any formal degree to back this up.
"There are lakhs of people who are illiterate or semi-literate but are adept at some or the other skill for generations. We intend to tap these people, give them the market relevant training and provide them with the required skill certificate. These people are skilled and working, and need to be certified. The programme (RPL) is an attempt to include them formally in the skill list," said a senior official of the OUAT.
Besides the certificate from the Agri Skill Council of India, the participants will be provided a "critical technology intervention" in the form of modern day technology or instrument that can be used to enhance their skill and make them market-ready, the official added.
While registrations will continue till March, more than 800 individuals have already enrolled in the programme.
The innovations are being brought about in areas such as the students ready programme, under which graduates - both mid-course and fresh preferably from agri or allied fields - are being supported with the required knowledge, technology and infrastructure.
All the interested students are being attached to different institutions and industries so as to gain hands on experience.
To encourage professional agri entrepreneurs, the university has sent a proposal to the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), which is Government of India's endeavour to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. The financial support under AIM will serve as a platform for promotion of innovation hubs, grand start-up businesses and other self-employment activities, particularly in technology-driven areas.
The Atal Innovation Mission has two core functions - entrepreneurship promotion through self-employment and talent utilisation wherein innovators will be supported and mentored to become successful entrepreneurs and innovation promotion to provide a platform where innovative ideas are generated.