IARD Class of 2011
As part of Agricultural Innovation Partnership’s (AIP) commitment to improve agricultural education in State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) in India, students from Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi, and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture & Technology (SVPUA&T), Meerut, participated, via e-learning, in Cornell University’s International Agricultural and Rural Development (IARD) 4020 course. The Fall 2011 semester included 16 students; 7 from BHU and 9 from SVPUA&T. The Indian students found the course extremely useful and beneficial in acquiring actionable knowledge and later securing lucrative jobs in the emerging food market (both public and private sectors) in India. Here is a list of the students who participated in the course and gained from it.


Bindvi Arora holds a B.Sc. in Food Technology from Delhi University, where she graduated second in her class. She did her M.Sc. in Food Science and Technology from BHU.

Ms Arora chose to participate in Cornell University’s IARD 4020 course because it presented her with an opportunity to learn the advanced techniques and principles being followed in developed nations for optimizing food production and food analysis and value addition. The course helped her gain new perspectives in international agriculture and improve her job profile.


R Prasann Kumar holds a B.Sc. in Agriculture from BHU. He did his post-graduation from the Department of Plant Physiology, BHU and worked on his thesis under the supervision of Dr. Padmanabh Dwivedi.

He has completed his 4–5 month-long projects/trainings funded by INSA (New Delhi), IASc (Bangalore), NASI (Allahabad), Indian Lac Research Institute (Ranchi) and Fruit & Vegetable Preservation and Processing Unit at BHU. He has also successfully completed Edusat-based Distance Learning Programs organized by IIRS, Dehradun, and ISRO, Ahmadabad. He is a recipient of the National Talent Scholarship, and was awarded a prize in National Agri-Tech Model presentation. He was awarded the 24th and 25th National Awards by the Association of Indian Universities, New Delhi. He has to his credit four popular articles, besides six publications including research papers, a review article and two chapters of a book.

Mr. Kumar participated in Cornell University’s IARD 4020 course and it helped him widen his academic horizon and experience in the field of agricultural science vis-à-vis its implication in the development of the society. He course also helped him gain insight into the critical gaps in Indian agriculture and address those with the knowledge and expertise acquired during the course.


Girish Singh Mahra holds a B.Sc. in Agriculture, and is a gold medal recipient from G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar (Uttarakhand, India). He completed his M.Sc. degree in Extension Education from BHU.

Mr. Mahra believes that since India is made up mostly of villages, a holistic development of the country requires focus on sustainable rural development and ensuring that villages are self-sufficient and autonomous in terms of economic and social conditions. Cornell University’s IARD 4020 course gave him the opportunity to see rural development issues from an international perspective and look into the issues from different angles.


Swati Pahuja holds a B.Sc. in Agriculture from C.S.A. University of Agriculture and Technology and was awarded the University silver medal. She also received gold medals in Genetics and Plant Breeding and Plant Pathology.

She has an M.Sc. (Ag) in Extension Education from BHU. Ms. Pahuja participated in Cornell University’s IARD 4020 course because it interested her. She plans to take up research work in future. She believes that the knowledge and experience gained from this course would help her work towards developing agriculture in her nation, which in turn will improve the lives of the farmers.


Amit Pandey holds a B.Sc. and an M.Sc. in Agriculture from BHU. He also has an M.Sc. in Horticulture from BHU. Mr. Pandey participated in Cornell University’s IARD 4020 course to further his knowledge on different aspects of agriculture in a wider context. He interacted with the international agricultural community and shared their perspectives.

 


Navendu Shekhar holds a B.Sc. (Honors) in Agriculture from C.S.A. University of Agriculture and Technology, Kanpur, India, and an M.Sc. (Agriculture) in Plant Physiology from BHU.

His research interests are in drought tolerance, phenotyping of wheat genotypes and micronutrient (Fe and B) deficiency, toxicity and interaction-led morphological, physiological, biochemical and molecular responses in tomato. Mr. Shekhar participated in Cornell University’s IARD 4020 course to further his goal of ensuring a secure and sustained socio-economy in the developing world in a post climate change and pre M.D.G 2015 time zone. As a native of both drought and flood affected Bihar province, Shekhar gained an insight into the available alternatives for affected people in his region and the means, mechanism and impact of possible intervention in their status quo.


Arti Singh holds a B.Sc. in Agriculture and is a university gold medal recipient. She has an M.Sc. in Agronomy from BHU. Ms. Singh chose to participate in Cornell University’s IARD 4020 course to gain knowledge on the various aspects of agriculture and rural development including its problems and solutions.
 


BHU Faculty Support for the Program

Om Prakash Mishra holds a Ph.D. in Extension Education from Indian Veterinary Research Institute, India. He started his career as an Assistant Professor in Agricultural Communication at G. B. Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar, India.

He is an Associate Professor of Extension Education at BHU. Professor Mishra believe that both he and the students have gained from the course and this experience would help them enrich their knowledge in the areas of agriculture and rural development and develop a network of international resources.


Fall 2011 Students from SVPUA&T

Nidhi Bhardwaj is a graduate of Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut. She has an M.Tech in Biotechnology from SVPUA&T.

Ms. Bhardwaj participated in Cornell University’s IARD 4020 course which helped her acquaint with Indian agriculture and the problems related to it and explore how these problems are being addressed in developing countries. She now has a much better understanding of the agricultural sector, in the international as well as in the domestic fronts, and the critical thinking required to solve its problems.


Neha Gogia holds a B.Tech in Biotechnology. She has an M.Tech in Biotechnology from SVPUA&T. Ms. Gogia participated in Cornell University’s IARD 4020 course because she realized the importance of biotechnology and the critical role it could play in improving agriculture. The course helped her improve her English writing skills and provided the opportunity to hone her analytical and observation skills, which helped her prepare for shouldering greater responsibilities in life.


Mohit Kumar holds a B.Sc. in Agriculture from Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut. He has an M.Sc. in Agriculture Extension from SVPUA&T. Mr. Kumar participated in Cornell University’s IARD 4020 course to further his knowledge in rural development.

 


 
Sachin Kumar holds a B.Sc. and an M.Sc. in Agriculture from SVPUA&T. He specialized in Genetics & Plant Breeding from the same university. Mr. Kumar participated in Cornell University’s IARD 4020 course to get an opportunity to learn more about rural development from an international perspective.
 


Rajmani Prajapati holds a B.Tech. in Biotechnology and an M.Tech. in Agriculture Process & Food Engineering from SVPUA&T. He participated in Cornell University’s IARD 4020 course to get an opportunity to participate in group discussions with the international agricultural community and to explore the importance of food processing and utilization of agricultural waste to minimize loss of food products for improving agriculture and food security in India.


Sanchita Rastogi has an M.Sc. in Biotechnology from SVPUA&T. Ms. Rastogi participated in Cornell University’s IARD 4020 course because it provided her with an opportunity to interact with the international agricultural community and learn about several aspects of agriculture she wasn’t aware of. She participated in the international discussions on a broad spectrum of topics on agriculture organized for the students each week.


Aastha Singh holds a B.Sc. in Biotechnology from Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut. She has an M.Sc. in Biotechnology from SVPUA&T. Ms. Singh participated in Cornell University’s IARD 4020 course to get a better and critical understanding of the agricultural system in India. The program provided her with an opportunity to explore the diverse fields related to the agricultural sector and get a deeper look into the problems existing at different levels. This course also gave her an opportunity to experience a new system of education and a chance to interact with people from different cultural backgrounds.


Preeti Sirohi holds a B.Tech (Biotechnology) from SVPUA&T. She has an M.Tech (Biotechnology) from the same university. Ms. Sirohi participated in Cornell University’s IARD 4020 course in order to interact with the students and the faculty of Cornell University and learn more about agricultural systems and their applications in plant biotechnology. The course helped her develop critical thinking skills and improve her power of observation and analytical capabilities.


SVPUA&T Faculty Support for the Program

Professor Anil Sirohi holds a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding from Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University (now CSK Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University), Palampur, India and an M.Sc. in Plant Breeding from G. B. Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar, India.

He started his career as an Assistant Professor in Plant Breeding at Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University. Professor Sirohi is actively involved in the AIP project and visited Cornell University, Ithaca, in July 2011, to prepare a draft report on Reformed Curriculum in Emerging Areas of Agriculture & Rural Development. Presently he is working as Professor and Head, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetic Engineering, and Dean, College of Biotechnology, SVPUA&T.

Professor Sirohi believes that both he and the students from SVPUA&T have benefited from the program. The program has helped the students enhance their knowledge in the areas of agriculture and rural development and food and nutritional security. He feels that the course encouraged the students develop critical thinking skills and understand global challenges in the field of food production and management.

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