Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Kashmir has been placed among the top three best performing State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) of the country for the progress achieved under the World Bank-funded National Agricultural Higher Education Project for institutional development in 2020-21.
The performance of 58 agricultural universities, including that of SKUAST -K was assessed during the annual review meeting of the NAHEP project of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi on June 2-3, 2021 under the chairmanship of Dr RC Agarwal, National Director NAHEP and DDG Education ICAR.
The review meeting was held online via the Zoom platform and was attended by about 175 participants including experts from the World Bank and ICAR.
The performance was assessed by using the modern statistical tools of the Project Monitoring and Evaluation indicators devised by the World Bank experts based on physical and financial and qualitative parameters of the progress achieved in the project during fiscal 2020-21.
Most important evaluation parameter was the outcome and output impacts created through the interventions and activities carried out under the project. The agriculture varsity found a place in the top three performing and the elite group of SAUs with strong performance indicators.
SKUAST-K report on its Institutional Developmental Plan (IDP) under NAHEP was presented by Prof Nazir A Ganai, university’s Director Planning and PI of the project.
Prof Ganai outlined the achievements of the university under NAHEP in terms of building the capacity of faculty and students, pushing institutional reforms and fostering the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. He also highlighted efforts of the university to develop appropriate infrastructure and human capacity in these areas.
Dr Agarwal and the World Bank experts lauded the efforts of SKUAST-K at different fronts for creating the envisioned model of the higher agricultural education for transforming SAUs under NAHEP based on academic, research, capacity building and institutional reforms for promoting an enabling ecosystem for leadership, life and higher-order skills, innovations, entrepreneurship and employability among the students.
The review committee projected SKUAST-K as a model for other SAUs to emulate to bring the vibrancy in performance in line with the envisioned model of NAHEP that seeks to bring in excellence and promote outcome-based education.
Vice-chancellor, SKUAST-K, Prof JP Sharma congratulated the team NAHEP of the university and praised Dr Ganai for his leadership in creating an innovative execution model of the project that has brought visible changes in the outlook of the university at the national and international level.
Prof Sharma said SKUAST-K envisioned model aims at building next-generation human capital capable of steering knowledge-based and technology-driven agri-economy of J&K, transforming the subsistence labour intensive and low remunerative farming into profitable, income-generating and business-oriented agriculture production system.
Through NAHEP, he said, SKUAST-K endeavours becoming the most preferred destination of agri-education for creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and a strong research base.
In an earlier in-house review meeting on May 21, 2021, Prof JP Sharma said that the project has focused on building the skills of the students to make them innovators, entrepreneurs and industry-ready graduates.
Prof Sharma was delighted to learn that under NAHEP, the university is establishing two new centres which are: Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship Centre.
He said the centres will be a unique facility in Jammu and Kashmir available for prospective entrepreneurs.
He observed that the two centres shall help in promoting new-age technologies like the use of drones and robotics and sensor-based precision techniques in agriculture, and incubating and hand-holding for the budding student startups.