New Delhi, Dec 23 (ANI): Union Agricultural Minister Sahrad Pawar said here on Wednesday that the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is undertaking a major capacity building exercise.
Addressing the 81st Annual General Meeting of the ICAR Pawar informed that the exercise was being conducted to deal with the present and future challenges facing the agriculture sector in the country.
"These efforts have resulted in filing of over 50 patents applications from 13 ICAR institutes during the year. Two patents applications have entered into National phase in USA, France and Japan," Pawar said.
"In an effort to enhance farmers' capacity and skills, over 40,000 training programmes were organized benefitting 11.27 lakh farmers and farm women. Similarly, about 13,000 skill-oriented training programmes were organized for 3.10 lakh rural youths," he added.
Pawar further informed that in order to infuse new blood in research efforts, over 430 scientists are being recruited at the entry level.
"In an effort to build capacity in high-end research such as molecular breeding, genomics and transgenics, bioremediation, nanotechnology, diagnostics etc. scientists from ICAR institutes and teachers from State Agricultural Universities were trained in best of the laboratories of the world," he said.
"Quality human resource being a key input in all aspects of agriculture, ICAR is implementing a comprehensive accreditation system to ensure quality of education, strengthening of infrastructure and faculty improvement in State Agricultural Universities. Accreditation was granted to five SAUs during the year, taking the total to 33." He added.
Pawar also said the introduction of international fellowships during the year was a major milestone in gloabalizing higher agricultural education.
"The ICAR institutes and State Agricultural Universities are being connected to National Knowledge Network through an electronic digital broadband to encourage sharing of resources for collaborative research," he said.
"To promote ICT-driven technology and information dissemination system for effective communication, ICAR contemplates to share its knowledge resources on a common platform in open-access mode for the benefit of stakeholders," Pawar added. (ANI)