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AIP Enables Assam Agricultural University Faculty Harness the Power of Digital Learning

April 25th, 2018 by

AIP Enables Assam Agricultural University Faculty Harness the Power of Digital Learning

Assam | January 21-31, 2013: 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.

About AIP
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.

For details, contact:
Anantha Murthy
Information Specialist
Sathguru Management Consultants
Phone: +91 40 6627 6200 | Fax: +91 40 4004 0554

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Innovation in Food Processing: AIP to Optimize Agriculture-Industry Interface through Training in Value Addition

December 21st, 2012 by

Innovation in Food Processing: AIP to Optimize Agriculture-Industry Interface through Training in Value Addition

Meerut, Uttar Pradesh | December 21, 2012: Towards achieving its mandate to improve income and livelihood among the rural populace involved in the agricultural and related sectors, the Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP) will organize a three-day training program for farmers, small entrepreneurs, students, homemakers and educated unemployed youth in the Department of Agricultural Engineering and Food Technology, College of Agriculture, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture & Technology (SVPUA&T), Meerut on December 22-24, 2012.

The hands-on training will help the participants learn ways to improve the shelf life of food products, taste and nutritional value of the value-added food using traditional as well as modern methods. The participants will also be trained on using simple, but effective ways of employing the recent advances made in processing and preservation technologies in fruits and vegetables.  AIP, a project funded by the USAID, is a consortium of leading agricultural universities and institutions in India and US and supported by private partners in India, is managed by Sathguru Management Consultants.

In India, close to 20 percent of the total vegetable and fruit produce worth INR 440 billion goes to waste annually due to the lack of transport and cold chain facilities. The negative impact of this on natural resource utilization, farmer income, and the rural economy may be effectively countered by educating the farmers and other members of local agrarian economies on effective processing and preservation techniques.

An eminent faculty comprising industry leaders and subject experts from India and US will converge to share their knowledge and experiences through hands-on trainings and presentations that will demonstrate ways to improve the edibility and quality of processed fruits and vegetables. The top-notch team of experts from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University comprising Prof. Syed Rizvi and Alicia Orta-Ramirez will train the participants. Speaking on the occasion, Prof Rizvi said, “This training program, meant largely for the people at the grass-roots level, will coach them on developing unique, less price-sensitive, consumer-oriented, hygienic products to bolster the agriculture-industry interface, develop entrepreneurship models and understand bio-process technology for converting raw agricultural produce into useful products.�?

Speaking on the need of the training, Prof Samsher, Dept. of Food Science and Technology, SVPUA&T who has been actively involved in conducting the training, commented, “The idea of deriving value-added products from agricultural produce highlight several complex issues–product innovation and management and rural development–all of which are intricately connected with the future of agriculture and rural communities. AIP aims at empowering the rural community with the technical know-how to convert agricultural produce into value-added products, which will help serve several purposes simultaneously.�?

The program is designed to instill ideas for value addition to local agricultural produce that will involve techniques to produce fruit- and vegetable-based beverages; ready-to-serves, squash and nectar preparation; jam and jelly preparation; ketchup, sauce preparation, etc. While providing an added source of income to the locals, the training will help in reducing wastage of agricultural produce as a result of optimum storage and enhancing shelf-life of the products through food processing and preservation techniques such as curing, pickling, evaporating and drying. The program will also help to enhance rural economies and empower the populace, particularly the women, by offering them entrepreneurial opportunities. The trainers will demonstrate ways of producing minimally-processed food, which contain less fat, salt, sugar and other carbohydrates and more fresh ingredients.  The program will instill in the participants the importance of following food safety standards and the strategies that need to be adopted to ensure that the final produce is and remains safe for consumption. The products generated over the course of the training program would be evaluated through sensory evaluation on a 9 point Hedonic scale in the SVPUA&T laboratory.

Dr. Suresh D., General Manager–Life Sciences Advisory Group at Sathguru Management Consultants said, “A part of the agricultural produce, often grown in abundance in India, surpasses demand, and can be utilized to provide benefits to other agricultural or non-agricultural sectors. AIP plans to look at the potential uses for agricultural produce in an effort to raise farm-level awareness among the food producers of the country about the inherent worth of value-added products and to facilitate future initiatives.�?

*****

About AIP
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 College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, 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 more than 22,000 students the world over. About 1,600 able faculty members, comprising internationally recognized authorities in their respective fields, including Nobel laureates and Rhodes scholars, guide these students. The research interests and activities of this university’s faculty and students have placed Cornell amongst the world’s best research institutions. Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is recognized as the leading institution for agricultural education and research in the world. CALS is instrumental in establishing the International Agricultural Research System and has been involved in education and research partnerships in several countries in Asia since the Green Revolution.

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.

For details, contact:
Dr. Suresh Damodaran
General Manager – Life Sciences Advisory Group
Sathguru Management Consultants
Phone: + 91 40 6627 6200 | Fax: +91 40 4004 0554

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AIP Fosters Innovation among Entrepreneurs in Assam to Improve Farm-level Intervention

November 26th, 2012 by

Jorhat, Assam | November 26, 2012: To mete out effective solutions towards post-harvest optimization and value addition in horticultural crops, Assam Agricultural University (AAU), under the aegis of the Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP), organized a one-day interaction with food industry entrepreneurs on November 26, 2012 in the AAU campus, Jorhat. The goal of the interaction was to accelerate technology absorption by food enterprises in the region duly leveraging the locally-popular farm products that have potential for value addition. The interactions focused on translating technologies for adaptation and absorption by small enterprises for converting grains, dairy products and fruits and vegetables into shelf-stable ingredients and final products. The partners explored the opportunity to adapt innovation duly combining product positioning strategies with process and product technologies with the guidance of faculty and experts as AAU’s important technology outreach effort. AAU’s engagement to accelerate innovation and product development efforts of the entrepreneurs is supported by partner institutions of AIP. These efforts are directed towards supporting entrepreneurs to actively engage in developing market-ready products; learn and practice value chain optimization, develop effective farm linkages to ensure incremental income for the growers.

The state of Assam has a rich agricultural diversity, particularly in horticulture, including medicinal and aromatic plants. Tea, the most popular aromatic beverage, is the biggest contribution of Assam to the world. However, several other horticultural crops like pineapple, jackfruit, banana, though grown abundantly, are seldom processed or converted to value added products to minimize the losses during post harvest handling and transport. To minimize these losses, it calls for a public-private partnership model ensuring co-investment in capacity-building and creation of food processing facilities. AIP, in its attempt to work out a viable solution to these issues, converged international food experts, agriculturists, university faculty, entrepreneurs and students under the same roof.

Thirty-five participants from all over Assam took part in this innovation acceleration dialogue. While some of the participants were experienced entrepreneurs dealing in pickles, baked products, jam, etc., there were also aspiring entrepreneurs seeking guidance and technical support for starting an enterprise. Mr. Ashok Jha, General Manager – Life Science Advisory Group at Sathguru Management Consultants, briefed the participants on the technical and managerial support that the entrepreneurs can derive when they adapt technologies of relevance to bring affordable products that would add value to regional agricultural produce. Mr. Nripen Barua, product development expert from USA in the AIP team, explained the processes involved in preparing dried products popular in the US market, consumer behavior and technology utilization for optimum output.

In their feedback to Dr. Mamoni Das, faculty, AAU and Project Coordinator, AIP, the participants revealed that the sessions were extremely insightful and provided them with the knowledge and inspiration to work on the opportunities presented to them. The AAU outreach to these entrepreneurs has potential to bring innovation to markets, duly leveraging adoption of proven technologies.

***

About AIP
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 North-eastern 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 as well as to disseminate the generated technologies as public good 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 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.

Media contact details
S. Susheel Kumar
Senior Manager – Corporate Communications
Sathguru Management Consultants Pvt. Ltd.
Tel: +91 40 6627 6200

International Workshop on Innovative Teaching for Improved Learning

July 17th, 2012 by

International Workshop on Innovative Teaching for Improved Learning

Groundbreaking workshop to bolster agricultural education and innovation

Three-day workshop organized by University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign under the aegis of the Agricultural Innovative Partnership

New Delhi | July 17, 2012: A pioneering initiative to improve agricultural education and extension in Indian agricultural universities has been set in motion in the national capital with a three-day workshop on teaching excellence from 16–18 July 2012 at ITC Sheraton, New Delhi. The three-day workshop opened on 16 July with a mini-retreat for administrators and senior faculty titled, ‘Creating a Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning’, followed by a two-day workshop series on 17–18 July, ‘Innovative Teaching for Improved Learning’. Initiated by the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and held under the aegis of the Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP) project, the workshop aims to seek ways whereby educational institutions can achieve excellence in teaching and learning methodologies.

Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the five-year project comprises a consortium of Indian and US land-grant universities (Cornell, Illinois, Georgia, The Ohio State, Tuskegee, and University of California, Davis) and private sector partners that include John Deere, Tata Chemicals Ltd, and Sathguru Management Consultants Pvt. Ltd. With the objective of bringing in holistic transformation in Indian agriculture, AIP plans to enhance teaching capabilities of Indian universities on how best to deliver course materials, maximize student learning, and develop strategies to maximize knowledge gain by students and teachers to enhance farm-level output.

A first-of-its-kind-initiative, Innovative Teaching for Improved Learning has brought together administrators and senior faculty to plan and strategize on enhancing the students’ learning experience – both in-class and outside class rooms. “One of the primary objectives of AIP is to ensure that the Indian market recruits the best talents from the agricultural universities and colleges and also to train Indian students to become globally competent graduates with complex problem-solving skills,” said Mr K. Vijayaraghavan, Chairman, Sathguru Management Consultants.

Key participants at the inaugural session of the two-day workshop series on 17 July included Prof. C. Ramasamy, National Project Coordinator, AIP, Ms Patricia Ramsey, Acting Mission Director, USAID India, Dr Robert J. Hauser, Dean, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois, and Dr Arvind Kumar, Deputy Director General (Education), Indian Council of Agricultural Research.

Dr Prasanta Kalita, Professor and Leader, Soil and Water Resources Engineering, Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the coordinator of the workshop, said, “With this and future teaching excellence workshops through AIP, we would like to work together with Indian universities in adopting contemporary course delivery capabilities, maximizing  student learning, and adopting ways to develop strategies to maximize knowledge gain by students and teachers. We would also like to co-create ways in which the Indian market recruits the best talents from the agricultural universities and colleges.”

Dr Robert J. Hauser, Dean and Professor of College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois, noted, “Like any type of education these days, needs in agricultural education involve curriculum development, e-learning initiatives, information systems, experiential learning, gender and socio-economic focus, teaching excellence, technology transfer and commercialization. Considering this broad spectrum, it is imperative for agricultural education to move beyond disciplinary content and develop innovative courses backed by technology-enhanced teaching methodologies.”

Given their expertise, AIP partner institutes will take the lead in addressing these identified areas through targeted faculty capacity-building programs, on-the-field research and mentor support and engaged student participation.

 * * *

About USAID/India

In partnership with the Government of India, USAID/India funds activities in the areas of health, clean energy and environment, water, food security, disaster management, and education.

About University of Illinois

The University of Illinois is a world leader in research and discovery, the largest educational institution in the state with more than 77,000 students, 22,000 faculty and staff, and campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. The University awards more than 19,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees annually.

The College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences plays a key role in national and international research initiatives in biological, physical, social, and economic sciences. The scope of the College has broadened dramatically since its founding in 1867, while its purpose remains focused on advancing scientific knowledge that makes life better, healthier, safer, and more profitable for people in Illinois and around the globe.

About Sathguru Management Consultants

Sathguru Management Consultants is a multifaceted advisory firm providing strategic, technological, functional and sectoral advisory services to an international clientele. With its global base in Hyderabad, India, and the US operations based at Cambridge, MA, Sathguru engages itself in technology management, strategic advisory, financial advisory, sector growth assessment, information technology solutions, capital markets advisory and brand affiliation management services.  Sathguru has pioneered creation of public-private partnerships for advancement of life science research, skill development and technology commercialization.

For more information, please contact:
K. Vijayaraghavan
Regional Project Coordinator, AIP
Ph: +91 40 3016 0203, 3016 0333
Email: vijay@sathguru.com, vkv2@cornell.edu

International Workshop on Harnessing Agricultural Education and Research for Rural Development

December 23rd, 2011 by

International Workshop on Harnessing Agricultural Education and Research for Rural Development

New Delhi | December 23, 2011: The USAID-supported Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP), in collaboration with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), organized an international workshop on “Harnessing Agricultural Education and Research for Rural Development” on December 19 and 21, 2011, at the Radisson Blu Hotel Dwarka in New Delhi. Participants came from leading agricultural institutions in India, Africa, and the U.S., as well as from industry and policy planning organizations.

The group discussed some key changes required in Indian agricultural university curriculum to address the challenges faced by the agricultural sector today. These included strengthening curricula in agriculture, biotechnology, food science and processing, dairy science, animal science, and veterinary medicine.

Discussions also focused on human resource requirements in agricultural extension and the inclusion of gender initiatives in agricultural curricula. The participants also discussed ways to increase awareness of the latest agricultural technologies among small and marginal farmers as well as small rural enterprises to help them enhance their incomes.

“People who live on less than $1.25 per day face issues related to poverty, hunger, and child malnutrition. By improving farmers’ access to the latest agricultural knowledge, we can help them improve their livelihoods.” said Gary Robbins, Director of the office of Food Security at USAID/India.

“Innovative curricula and extension models are needed to improve the agri-technology and management support that graduates provide to the agricultural sector in India,” said Max Pfeffer, Senior Associate Dean at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University.

About AIP: The Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP) seeks to modernize agricultural curriculum and extension services in select agricultural universities in India in order to increase agricultural productivity and strengthen food security in India and across the world. Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the five-year project comprises a consortium of Indian and U.S. land-grant universities (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.

About USAID: In partnership with the Government of India, USAID/India funds activities in the areas of health, clean energy and environment, water, food security, disaster management, and education.

p>Workshop Participants: The consortium of scientists, policy planners, extension specialists, and agricultural leaders who met in New Delhi came from several institutions that are spread across three continents including ICAR, Banaras Hindu University, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture and Technology and other state agricultural universities in India; six land-grant universities in the U.S. – Cornell University, The University of Georgia, the University of Illinois, Tuskegee University, the University of California-Davis and The Ohio State University; the Egerton University, Kenya, and Bunda College of Agriculture, Malawi, in Africa. Private and public sector partners including Tata Chemicals Ltd., Sathguru Management Consultants Pvt. Ltd., Coca-Cola India, Haldiram’s Food International Ltd., as well as the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and the National Academy of Agricultural Research Management also participated in the workshop.

For more information, please contact:
K. Vijayaraghavan
Regional Project Coordinator, AIP
Ph: +91 40 6627 6203, +91 40 6627 6200
Email: vijay@sathguru.com, vkv2@cornell.edu

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