By Diksha MishraM.Sc. Forestry Scholar, Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, Uttarakhand
While the new education policy (NEP 2020) continues to be a matter of debate in the country, it’s beneficiary outcome has knocked the doors of Agriculture students and researchers recently. Here’s an a to z account of the ‘good news’….
The Union minister of Agriculture & farmer’s welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar launched Krishi megh (NARES Cloud infrastructure & services). The initiative is seen as an outcome of the National Education Policy (2020). NARES stands for National Agricultural Research and Education System. Cloud infrastructure basically refers to cloud storage which, as many must be aware, is basically storing data on the internet allowing easy data handling and access.
What is Krishi Megh exactly?
Simply put, Krishi megh is data recovery centre of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). It is established at National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM), Hyderabad. The centre is synchronized with the data centre at ICAR-Indian Agricultural Statistical Research Institute (IASRI) located at New Delhi. It is considered a step forward towards digital agriculture in India and to bring more glory to the country at global platform. It will make available latest information in the field of agriculture in real time using new aged technology.
Latest technologies that are used in krishi megh include artificial intelligence and deep learning software for building and deploying deep learning based applications through image analysis, disease identification in livestock, etc. Krishi Megh is set up under the National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP), with the aim to ensure relevant and high quality education to the agricultural university students.
A little light on NAHEP:
NAHEP has been formulated by ICAR with a total cost of US$ 165 million for five years starting from 2017-18. The NAHEP is funded equally by Government of India and World Bank and implemented at the Education Division, ICAR, New Delhi. Overall, the project aims to develop resources & mechanism for supporting infrastructure, faculty and student advancement, and providing means for better governance and management of agriculture universities, so that a holistic model can be developed to raise the standard of current agriculture education system that provides more jobs and is entrepreneurship oriented and on par with the global agriculture education standards.
The project would benefit all the Agricultural Universities (AUs), i.e. 63 state agricultural universities modelled on the US Land Grant University pattern, 5 Deemed to be Universities (DUs), 3 Central Agricultural University (CAUs) and 4 Central Universities (CUs) with Agriculture Faculty. The NAHEP will also help us meet sustainable development goals (SDGs) and develop skilled agricultural workforce.
KVC ALUNET & Online Accreditation system for HEI:
At the same event, Union minister Shri Tomar also launched Krishi Vishwavidyalaya Chhatr Alumni Network (KVC ALUNET) & Online Accreditation system for Higher Agricultural Educational Institutions (HEI). KVC ALUNET will enable the alumni of all the 74 Agricultural Universities in connecting with each other and making it possible to assist the students in internship, placements and to provide support to their alma mater.
Although any plan is only as good as it is executed, the intention of Union Government to provide students with quality education, data for research, peer support through a social media platform and digitalization of data for easy access ought to be applauded. Agricultural students must keep a tab on them and extract maximum benefit.