E-learning is all set to revolutionize the knowledge delivery and dissemination systems across the globe. Experts predict that a few years from now, adaptive e-learning will transform the future of higher education and replace traditional models of teaching and learning with enhanced, efficient and more resourceful models. This compelling logic, when applied in the Indian context, implies that the sheer size of the faculty and students in the Indian educational system will guarantee a change that will revolutionize the approach towards education in the entire teaching/learning community in India.
The Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP), an ambitious partnership managed by Sathguru Management Consultants, Hyderabad, fosters a futuristic model to reform the educational system in partner Indian Agricultural Universities, through various avenues of intervention. Comprehending the need for rapid and quick interventions in the Indian educational arena, AIP, for the first time in the history of the partnering Indian universities, has undertaken several significant initiatives to promote and set up e-learning centers. As part of these initiatives, AIP conducted a series of trainings at Assam Agricultural University (AAU), Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture and Technology (SVPUA&T) in several phases. During these trainings, faculty members and students were sensitized on the need and advantages of e-learning and were trained on handling AV equipment, capturing lectures, digitizing content, working on Online Learning and Training (OLAT) tools, aspects of e-learning, etc.
Coordinated by Sathguru Management Consultants with the assistance of distinguished faculty members from Cornell University (the duo are part of the AIP consortium), the trainings conducted last year in several phases had gained wide popularity and appreciation for their effective and enormous efforts towards sensitizing on ICT-enabled courses the educational communities of the universities in the states of Assam and Uttar Pradesh.
AAU plans to capitalize on the skills and knowledge imparted to the faculty by the AIP team. To ensure that the educational community appreciates, utilizes and harnesses the power of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) enabled courses, the University is organizing several training programs from January 21 to 31, 2013 in all its campuses across the state. This unique initiative will train about 110 faculty members from various campuses of Assam Agricultural University. Coordinated by Dr. Jyoti Kumar Gogoi, Professor-In-Charge, Agricultural Research and Information Service (ARIS) Cell, Assam Agricultural University, the trainings are being conducted by the faculty who have already been trained by the AIP team to produce digitized content for ICT-enabled courses.
Enthused by the prospect of training a considerable number of faculty on dealing with ICT-enabled courses for the first time ever in the state, Dr. Gogoi said, "information and communication technology skills play a significant role in improving employment opportunities among low-income student groups. We plan to equip our teaching community with ICT skills, which is an essential component of broader efforts to harness the free flow of information to increase voice, accountability, employability and economic development among the students of our region."
Aptly termed 'Train the Trainers', this training program will ensure that a larger segment of the AAU educational community is trained in producing, handling, understanding and employing digital content and utilizing them for maximum benefit. This will be yet another instance in which AIP's training program will enable a partner university to take a step forward in ensuring better productivity, reduced cost, effective learning, faster course delivery and lower environmental impact.
Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP), a five-year project, comprises a consortium of Indian Agricultural Universities and land-grant universities in the US (Cornell, Illinois, Georgia, The Ohio State, Tuskegee, and UC Davis) and private sector partners that include John Deere, Tata Chemicals Ltd, and Sathguru Management Consultants Pvt. Ltd. AIP believes in fostering change in the capabilities of Indian universities to deliver innovative pedagogical practices and to maximize institutional impact by promoting holistic transformation in Indian agriculture. AIP fosters innovation ecosystems within the rural setup to maximize income and enhance sustainability.
About Assam Agricultural University
Assam Agricultural University is the first institution of its kind in the whole of Northeastern Region of India. The main goal of this institution is to produce globally competitive human resources in farm sector and to carry out research in both conventional and frontier areas for production, optimization. It also aims at disseminating the generated technologies for the benefit of the food growers/producers and traders involved in the sector while emphasizing on sustainability, equity and overall food security at household level.
About CALS, Cornell University
Cornell University, an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, USA, is one of the world's leading universities providing education to about 20,000 students from the world over. These students are guided by about 3,000 able faculty comprising mostly of internationally recognized authorities in their respective fields. The research interests and activities of this faculty have placed Cornell amongst the world's best research institutions. Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is recognized as the leading centers for agricultural education in the world. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, instrumental in establishing the International Agricultural Research System, has been involved in education and research partnerships in several countries in Asia since the Green Revolution. In the food science and food process arena, Cornell excels with myriads of patents and extension and outreach efforts that span several countries across the world.
About Sathguru Management Consultants
Sathguru Management Consultants is a multifaceted advisory firm providing strategic, technological, functional and sectoral advisory services to an international clientele. Sathguru is among the largest strategy and technology management advisory firm for the life sciences sector that covers a broad spectrum of industries including agriculture, food, retail, animal sciences and health care. Sathguru's development efforts are carried out in partnership with domestic and international development partners. Sathguru has pioneered creation of public-private partnerships for advancement of life science research, skill development and technology commercialization.
Anantha Murthy, Information Specialist, Sathguru Management Consultants Pvt. Ltd., + 91 (40) 30160240
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Assam Agricultural University