The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the World Bank jointly issued the Delhi Declaration on Modernisation of Agricultural Education System in alignment with the National Education Policy(NEP) during the valedictory session of the International Conference on Blended Learning Ecosystem for Higher Education in Agriculture 2023(ICBLE 2023) held in New Delhi, Delhi.
i.The Delhi Declaration highlights the need to incorporate digital resources and tools for effective accessible teaching and learning in agriculture.
ii.This also shifts the focus towards creating a renewed and resilient system for gender-inclusive and sustainable education that will facilitate India’s agriculture education sector.
iii.This also highlights that Multidisciplinary technology-facilitated education should be promoted and the policies on Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture and Mathematics (STEAM) in agricultural higher education need to be transformed.
About ICBLE 2023:
The 3-day ICBLE 2023, first of its kind initiative to promote blended learning initiatives in agricultural higher education, was organised jointly by the ICAR and World Bank from 21st to 23rd March 2023 at Bharat Ratna C. Subramaniam Auditorium, National Agricultural Science Complex(NASC), New Delhi, Delhi.
- The Conference was held as part of the National Agricultural Higher Education Project’s (NAHEP) Resilient Agricultural Education System (RAES) development initiative.
Objectives of the conference:
- To deliberate on strategies to operationalize a blended learning ecosystem for Agricultural higher education
- To deliberate upon the sustainability of the blended learning ecosystem through private-public partnerships in alignment with market need and demand
- To deliberate among stakeholders to formulate mechanisms for continuous improvement of cross-sectorial integration of the blended learning ecosystem
The 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
Highlights of the conference: :
On 21st March 2023, Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare inaugurated the conference and launched the Blended Learning Platform for higher education in agriculture.
- The platform was developed by ICAR as a part of the World Bank-funded project.
- The blended learning ecosystem was developed as a part of the 5 year NAHEP which concludes in 2023.
Blended Learning Platform:
The Blended Learning Platform will make Krishi Megh even more useful for teachers and students of agricultural universities and colleges across India.
To benefit the students, the Krishi Megh infrastructure has been strengthened for the Blended Learning Platform.
i.National Agricultural Higher Education Project(NAHEP) is a 5-year project initiated in 2018 to strengthen the National Agricultural Education System in India. The Blended Learning Platform is part of this project.
- Purpose of NAHEP: To transform agricultural higher education.
ii.NAHEP was initiated with an equal contribution of USD 82.5 million (~ Rs 600 crore) from the World Bank and the government of India.
- The World Bank loan is to be repaid over 19 years after a grace period of 5 years.
i.All agricultural universities have access to e-learning and e-governance applications.
ii.They also have smart classrooms, video conferencing facilities and virtual reality experience labs.
iii.About 86% of agri-universities have academic management systems, 90% have wi-fi on campus and 92% have high-speed internet connectivity.
Indian agriculture sector:
The agricultural sector of India plays a major role in the overall development of the Indian economy.
The agri sector is responsible for providing employment to around 70% of the population of India.
About the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR):
ICAR is an autonomous organisation under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education ( DARE ), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare(MoA&FW).
Established in – 1929
Director General– Himanshu Pathak
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi