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Under flagship World Bank project, SKUAST-K reorienting agricultural education in J&K

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SKUAST-K reorienting agricultural education

VC reviews progress of NAHEP, releases newsletter  

BK News 

Srinagar, Jan 1: Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Kashmir Friday held an appraisal meeting to review the progress of the World Bank-ICAR funded National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) awarded to the university in 2019 for its institutional development.

The three-year project is aimed to develop SKUAST-K as a model agricultural higher education institution and build next-generation human capital to drive the knowledge-based and technology-driven agri-economy of Jammu and Kashmir and the country. With the help of the NAHEP, SKUAST-K aims to become a preferred destination of agri-education for creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, besides the hardcore research and extension.

Vice-Chancellor, SKUAST-K, Prof Mushtaq Ahmad, who chaired the meeting, said the university under the NAHEP has a particular focus on the skill-building of the students so that they become job-ready.

The vice-chancellor also said that SKUAST-K under NAHEP is soon coming up with an incubation and innovation centre, which will lead the students of the university to become innovators and entrepreneurs and help them to launch their own agri-startups.

The vice-chancellor also released ‘Agrucation’ the bimonthly NAHEP-IDP newsletter of SKUAST-K, which covers various activities and achievements carried under the programme.

Director Planning and Monitoring and PI NAHEP, Prof Nazir Ahmad Ganai, who gave a detailed overview of the project, said the Institutional Development Plan (IDP) of SKUAST-K seeks to link education with employment, entrepreneurship, and leadership, besides building resilient and environmentally sustainable infrastructure.

He said SKUAST-K is also helping the Higher Education Department in the initiation of more than 30 agriculture-related skill development courses for teaching in the various colleges of the UT.

SKUAST-K is collaborating with various institutions within the country and outside to provide students better research opportunities and exposure, he said, adding it is also fostering industry linkages to develop market-oriented human resources for facing the challenges of 21 century.

Director Education and Dean Faculty of Fisheries, Prof MH Balkhi while emphasising the role of the agricultural universities in terms of the present-day demands said it is not only the degree, which the students should take from the university but also knowledge and security of livelihood.

HRM Consultant Prof Farooq Ahmad Zaki gave an overview of the work done under NAHEP by the university during 2020 and talked about its relevance to National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. He also spoke on the impact and outcomes of the project in terms of student achievements and leadership growth in the faculty.

Dean Students Welfare MAA Siddique said the university made important strides under NAHEP and this moment needs to be continued to achieve the goals in front of us. NAHEP should identify leaders among the students, who can become torchbearers and influencers for others in research, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Registrar Prof MH Wani, Dr Azmat Alam Khan, Dr Sameera Qayoom, Dr Parvaiz Sofi, Dr Khalid Masoodi, Dr Raihanan Habib Kanth, Dr Farhanaz Rasool, Dr Imtiyaz Tahir Nazki, Dr Ajaz Ahmad Malik, Dr Rizwana Malik, Dr Shabir Ahmad Bangroo, Dr Simi Lohani, Dr Showkat Ara, Dr Mushtaq Ahmad and other team members of NAHEP-IDP were also present in the meeting.

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ART

Arooj’s 3D art captivates memories

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Arooj's 3D art captivates memories

Syed Jesarat

Academically-inclined dentist, Dr Syed Juwahira Arooj, who previously taught at the Imam Hussain Paramedical College in Bemina, creates 3D art to preserve memories.
In the month of September 2021, Moulding Memories was created.
Arooj says, “I started creating art during the Covid shutdown. I had casting material at home and the artist in me wanted to make something out of it. I realised it has potential to be in the market, so I launched this business.”

A 28-year-old from Humhama has learnt this technique online for 4 weeks and has also benefited from some YouTube instructions.

Arooj's 3D art captivates memories

Arooj explains, “I used cast material back when I practised dentistry, and the thought occurred to me: why not save the memories by using this technique?”

Process: 
Moulding combines techniques, procedures, and as well as skills. Moulding is a manufacturing procedure which involves certain steps.

  • Impression
  • Pouring
  • Casting
  • Colouring
  • Framing

First, an impression is taken, followed by pouring it with impression plaster, and then casting is done. After creating a cast, it is left for cooling and solidification before the colouring takes place and finally framing finishes the process.

Arooj's 3D art captivates memoriesFor an impression, customers are required to visit Arooj and make an online payment beforehand. Customers contact using the Instagram handle ‘@mouldingmemorieswithArooj you create memories we craft them‘ and customers are from across Kashmir. The price range begins at Rs 1999. The clientele is quite strong in this line of work.

It takes at most 3 days to complete the casting. Most materials are imported from places other than Kashmir, like Telangana and Gujrat.

“I get the maximum amount of the materials from outside the state, being a budding 3D artist, I’ve kept charges very basic for now,” says Arooj.

“I want people to know about this 3D artwork, it is not that popular here in Kashmir,” says Arooj.

Moulding allows for the creation of a wide variety of designs, it is connected to sculpting in certain ways and is helpful in producing 3D art of anything that someone wants to keep as a solid memory for loved ones.

“People want to preserve what is dear to them in 3D form, and I help them in doing so,” says Arooj.

According to Arooj, designs can be customised to include anything the customer wants to preserve as a memory, such as a hand casting or foot casting of babies, adults or pets.

“Outside J&K people preserve many memories like a blessing hand (Ashirwaad), but since this concept is new here, people usually prefer newborn handprints to be moulded into a memory,” says Arooj.

Arooj's 3D art captivates memoriesThe moulding process for 3D art is pretty challenging.

“When creating the entire impression needs to be rebuilt if a cast somehow loses a minor part or is distorted,” adds Arooj.

This 3D artwork has attracted a lot of admirers.
One feedback reads, “Beautifully created hand cast, adored it.”
Don’t stop doing this, keep your hopes high, reads another.

Everyone in the family and friends supports Arooj in taking this unusual move in her career.

According to Arooj, “Moulding Memories” is the first of its kind in the valley.

Arooj urged people to be fearless and take chances.

“In order to know how far one can go, without taking chances one can never know their limits,” says Arooj.

“Taking a risk and being optimistic is what one should have in mind while starting something new,” concludes Arooj.

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AgriBiz

4-week machine learning training begins at SKUAST-K

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Machine learning training at SKUAST-K

BK News

Srinagar, Jan 27: Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology Kashmir commenced a four-week national online training on ‘Computer Vision in Agriculture using Machine Learning’.

More than 50 agriculture students, scholars and teachers from various parts of the country are participating in the online training organised by the team IDP under the World Bank-ICAR funded National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) for the institutional development of SKUAST-K. The training is being conducted in collaboration with Noida-based Emerging India Analytics, one of India’s fastest growing Analytics/ IT consulting and training companies offering services in both consulting and training domains including NASSCOM certified professional programs. 

The training programme aims to bridge the gap between academics and Industry and produce human resources with qualities for creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship skills. In order to compete and be at par with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, SKUAST-K under ambit of IDP-NAHEP is in the continuous process of imparting education and training about disruptive technologies and their application and impact on the agri-economy and how to improve the quality of life. 

The training will provide insights into the use and application of Computer Vision, and how Machine Learning and computer is helping in solving real-world problems in general and agriculture in particular. 

Vice Chancellor, SKUAST-K, Prof Nazir Ahmad Ganai, who was the chief guest at the occasion, said such programs will pave way for the implementation of the 4th industrial revolution in the university, which is presently unfolding and is largely driven by disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics and drones. He also said that SKUAST-Kashmir is the torchbearer by being bold and disruptive in venturing first in AI&ML in the state to permeate higher-order skills of AI & ML in students, researchers and faculty members. While addressing the audience, he stressed the output-based training and workshops that are being conducted in the university. He further added that such programs will create awareness and interest among students and help them to develop critical thinking to innovate and be self-reliant. 

Team IDP-NAHEP, organizers of this training program, in the inaugural session, deliberated about the need and importance of Computer Vision and Machine Learning in Agriculture and allied sectors. Prof Rohitashw Kumar, Associate Dean, CoAE&T, SKUAST-K, provided a detailed overview of the training programs and encouraged participants to take full benefit of this training program. Prof Azmat Alam Khan, Co-PI NAHEP said that such training programs are the need of the hour and also said that such programs will help students to equip themselves with the latest technologies and help them in future to fetch a better job. 

Dr Showkat Rosool, Assistant Professor, CoAE&T, SKUAST-K presented the vote of thanks to all the dignitaries that were present at the inaugural function. 

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Skills

Monetising Creativity: Blending Business & Art for Millennials

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Blending Business & Art for Millennials

Without losing the art, the artist in you needs the strategy to succeed

Insha S Qazi

Blending Business with Art for Millennials You need to believe the strongest professional is the one who combines art with business.

It’s the artist who also understands how to sell himself. And the businesswoman who creates work that’s unmistakable.

When I started thinking of my profession as art, I began paying attention to how I could leave my original mark on my work.

Marketing, fundraising, product strategy, starting a startup, and even hiring — there’s an art to it all.

Being a creative rebel in this day and age is almost easy – you just need to take something you really hate or disagree with and turn it on its head. The world is much more open to this kind of thing today than it was decades ago.

For technical roles — medicine, bus driving, engineering, and so on — even if you can’t improvise within the work, your process is an art. And how you communicate and pour your heart into your work is most definitely an art.

And for artists — the writer, musician, photographer — no matter what your craft, you’re also a personal brand. For your art to thrive, it’s important to focus on growing your business the way you focus on your art.

Start with the foundation. Follow best practices. Then craft your business from the heart to add your original mark.

But here’s the paradox. The moment you become too focused on your business, some of the magic in your art gets lost.

It’s a balancing act.

It’s because there’s something magical about creating art for art’s sake. That will always be the purest place to begin. It’s why we began in the first place.

Great artists delight themselves with the creative process. They create for the joy of it, not for the money. Their passion bleeds into their business, and so they end up delighting the person on the other side.

Creating From the Heart

“I try to dig deep into the well of my subconscious. At a certain moment in that process, the lid is opened and very different ideas and visions are liberated. With those I can start making a film.”

— Hayao Miyazaki

It’s easiest to enter flow state when you create from the heart. When you’re unashamedly, honestly yourself. You have to be vulnerable and bare a bit of your soul. If you start worrying about what people may think, you’ll freeze.

Your mind takes over.

The pen, the keyboard, the camera — these are simply tools for creating your work. They are not the purest vessels of your art. Of your heart. You are the vessel. There’s no one in the world quite like you. So when you create from the heart — with as few mental filters as possible — no one else can replicate that work.

In a world where we’re constantly comparing and copying, sincerity takes us above the noise. It’s quieter up here. When we create something original that matters to us, how can it not attract the right people?

Trust yourself as the greatest vessel of your work. Use the unique DNA of your experiences, perspectives, and background. And further, use your silent hopes, fears, and purest dreams.

Business will follow the art of your life.

The creative process is a magical thing. The harder you try to be great, the more obstacles stand in the way. Let go. Stop overthinking. Come as you are. You already have everything you need. And let the magic flow.

Money is not your ultimate goal.

Thinking about the monetization of creativity, we can unwittingly replace the purpose of creativity for the purpose of money. But you do not need to enjoy money to earn it. You should use money as a tool. They will be able to renew your craft, making it viable. Of course, there is a threat to turn creativity exclusively into a business. If you do not know to make it happen, it is necessary to balance. There are no universal ways to find the golden mean, but there is an indicator. You should always ask yourself the same question: “Why am I doing this?”. If you notice that most thoughts are about money, you should give thought to.

Very few artists instantly start making money off their art without a personal network. That’s because so many customers will come to you via word-of-mouth. You can’t afford to simply put your art out there and wait for customers. Don’t be afraid to shamelessly self-promote. Ask your friends and family to help by sharing your online shop, social media profiles, and anywhere else you’re promoting your art.

An educationist, Insha S Qazi runs a fashion & design school in Kashmir. She has also authored a self help book on Marketing & Management.

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