International Conference

on Blended Learning Ecosystem for Higher Education in Agriculture

About the Conference

The conference has been envisaged as a multi-partner global event to facilitate knowledge sharing, collaboration, and partnerships for the development of state-of-the-art blended learning ecosystem for higher agricultural education in India. learnings from this conference would enable ICAR to develop a strategy for accelerating the implementation and adaption of blended learning ecosystem. The conference is being hosted jointly by ICAR and the World Bank under NAHEP and is organized by ICAR - Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute, New Delhi.

ICAR has undertaken a development initiative to develop and deploy a Blended Learning Platform envisioned as a “Next – Generation Learning Management System” allowing all stakeholders in Agricultural higher education to engage in effective teaching, learning and monitoring. The platform would be designed to bring to life the larger vision of “strengthening the digital backbone of agricultural higher education institutes”, to enable evolved, scalable and sustainable learning.

The key objectives of the conference are:
  • To deliberate on strategies to operationalize a blended learning ecosystem for Agricultural higher education
  • To deliberate upon sustainability of blended learning ecosystem through private public partnership in alignment with market need and demand
  • To deliberate among stakeholders to formulate mechanism for continuous improvement of cross-sectorial integration of blended learning ecosystem

Themes of the conference are:

  • Strategies for blended teaching-learning
  • Technologies for blended learning
  • Sustainability in the blended learning ecosystem
  • Building stakeholder capacities to navigate in a blended teaching- learning ecosystem
  • Contemporary curriculum for agricultural education

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is an autonomous organisation under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education ( DARE ) , Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare , Government of India. Formerly known as Imperial Council of Agricultural Research, it was established on 16 July 1929 as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 in pursuance of the report of the Royal Commission on Agriculture. The ICAR has its headquarters in New Delhi. The Council is the apex body for co-ordinating, guiding and managing research and education in agriculture including horticulture, fisheries and animal sciences in the entire country. With 101 ICAR institutes and 71 agricultural universities spread across the country this is one of the largest national agricultural systems in the world. The ICAR has played a pioneering role in ushering Green Revolution and subsequent developments in agriculture in India through its research and technology development that has enabled the country to increase the production of food grains by 5.6 times, horticultural crops by 10.5 times, fish by 16.8 times, milk by 10.4 times and eggs by 52.9 times since 1950-51 to 2017-18, thus making a visible impact on the national food and nutritional security. It has played a major role in promoting excellence in higher education in agriculture. It is engaged in cutting edge areas of science and technology development and its scientists are internationally acknowledged in their fields.

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World Bank Group

The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. Its five institutions share a commitment to reducing poverty, increasing shared prosperity, and promoting sustainable development. With 189 member countries, staff from more than 170 countries, and offices in over 130 locations, the World Bank Group is a unique global partnership: five institutions working for sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries. Together, IBRD and IDA form the World Bank, which provides financing, policy advice, and technical assistance to governments of developing countries. IDA focuses on the world’s poorest countries, while IBRD assists middle-income and creditworthy poorer countries.

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ICAR - Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute (IASRI)

ICAR-Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute (IASRI) is a pioneer institute of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) undertaking research, teaching and training in Agricultural Statistics, Computer Application and Bioinformatics. Ever since its inception way back in 1930, as small Statistical Section of the then Imperial Council of Agricultural Research, the Institute has grown in stature and made its presence felt both nationally and internationally. ICAR-IASRI has been mainly responsible for conducting research in Agricultural Statistics and Informatics to bridge the gaps in the existing knowledge. It has also been providing education/ training in Agricultural Statistics and Informatics to develop trained human resources in the country. The research and education are used for improving the quality and meeting the challenges of agricultural research in newer emerging areas.

The Institute also occupies a place of pride in the National Agricultural Statistics System (NASS) and has made several important contributions to strengthening NASS, which has a direct impact on the national policies. The Institute has contributed significantly by providing excellent human resources to NARES in the country in the disciplines of Agricultural Statistics and Informatics for meeting the challenges of Agricultural Research in the newer emerging areas. Conducting postgraduate teaching and in-service courses in Agricultural Statistics, Computer Application and Bioinformatics for human resource development is an important activity. The Computer Division of ICAR-IASRI has been appointed the implementing institution for RAES under the National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP).

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National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP)

NAHEP has been formulated by ICAR with a total cost of US$ 165 million (Rupees 1100 crores at the exchange rate of Rs. 66.75 = 1US$) for five years starting from 2017-18. The project is proposed on 50:50 cost sharing basis between the World Bank and the Government of India, implemented at the Education Division, ICAR, New Delhi. Overall, the project aims to develop resources and mechanism for supporting infrastructure, faculty and student advancement, and providing means for better government and management of agricultural universities, so that a holistic model can be developed to raise the standard of current Agricultural education system that provides more jobs and is entrepreneurship oriented and on par with the global agriculture education standards. The mandate of ICAR/DARE includes promotion and coordination of education in agriculture, Agro-forestry, animal husbandry, fisheries, home science and allied sciences in the country. ICAR is now embarking upon an ambitious step in further strengthening the National Agricultural Education system in the country through National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) with financial assistance of the World Bank by investing on infrastructure, competency and commitment of faculty, and attracting talented students to agriculture.

Resilient Agricultural Education System (RAES)

ICAR, through World Bank, supported NAHEP project, has recently undertaken Resilient Agricultural Education System (RAES) development initiative with lead implementing agency as ICAR-IASRI, to accelerate the achievement of key recommendations of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. The pivotal idea underlying the RAES development initiative is to provide uninterrupted access to teaching-learning thereby minimizing losses in learning. This implies the enablement of an agricultural higher education system that hosts the capability to operate seamlessly across multiple situations and contexts. This would primarily entail:

  • Leveraging the positive power of technology and digital to facilitate blended and flipped learning scenarios.
  • Strengthening collaborative partnerships with industry and government partners to embed a more “market- driven” teaching-learning culture.
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