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10-day training on role of nanotech in agriculture commences at SKUAST-K

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Training on role of nanotech in agriculture

BK News

Srinagar, Feb 3: With an aim to enhance higher-order professional skills of the students, a 10-day training programme on ‘Role of Nanotechnology in Modern Agriculture’ commenced at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Kashmir.

The training has been organised by the university’s Division of Plant Pathology, Faculty of Horticulture under the World Bank-ICAR funded National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) for the institutional development of SKUAST-K.

About 250 students and scholars from 23 agricultural universities and other institutions from across the country are participating in the training. Participants were chosen from 600 applicants.

More than 20 nanotechnology experts including five renowned international academicians will be delivering the lecturers and conducting the training covering a wide range of topics in the broader realm of nanotechnology.

Director Education and Dean Faculty of Fisheries, Prof MH Balkhi, who was the chief guest at the inaugural function, while lauding the organizers for conducting the training on nanotechnology which is most relevant in the present times, said it should be used for the benefit of humanity.

He said nanotechnology should help the farmers in reducing the use of problematic pesticides as rampant use of chemical pesticides has harmed human health and imbalanced the ecology. Therefore, the focus should be on efficient nano-pesticides, which are safe for human life and the environment, he added.

Director Planning and Principal Investigator IDP-NAHEP for SKUAST-K, Prof Nazir Ahmad Ganai said such skill trainings are important for shaping the students of the university for the future. He said the earlier thrust of the students was on the public sector employment but those jobs have squeezed now. Presently, it is all knowledge-based economy and students have to compete in the private sector which is driven by the 4th generation industrial revolution, he said.

“To compete in the knowledge economy, students need to have higher-order professional skills in nanotechnology, automation, artificial intelligence, block chain etc.,” Ganai said, adding, “Agriculture is a thriving sector with a lot of innovation opportunities from the farm up to when the food reaches a mouth and nanotechnology has an important role to play in it all.”

Head Division of Plant Pathology, Prof Nisar Ahmad Khan talked in detail about the role of nanotechnology in modern agriculture. Prof Tariq Ahmad Shah in his welcome address provided a detailed overview of the 10-day programme.

Dr Tariq A Sofi presented the vote of thanks. Dr MD Shah, Dr Mushtaq A Bhat, Dr Afaq Hamid of Plant Pathology and Dr Shabir Ahmad Bangroo of Soil Sciences, besides a number of faculty members and students, participated in the inaugural function.

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Current Affairs

Kashmiri researcher to speak at UNGA Science Summit

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Kashmiri researcher to speak at UNGA

Srinagar, Sept 21: Dr Sheikh Fayaz Ahmad, a Kashmir-born Innovation Researcher, has been invited to speak at UNGA76’s second Science Summit (United Nations General Assembly UNGA76).

The UNGA Science Summit’s goal is to “increase awareness of science’s significance and contribution to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.” It will showcase efforts that will serve as examples for global science systems and activities supporting the SDGs, notably in the areas of science infrastructure and capacity building.”

Dr Sheikh Fayaz, a Kupwara resident, has been asked to speak at a session on ‘South-South/North Science Capacity Building and Research Collaboration for Advancing the SDGs,’ which will take place on September 22, 2021.

UNGA76 is seen as a unique and prestigious forum for science and development scholars to demonstrate “how policy and political leadership can benefit from innovation”. The second edition of UNGA76, Science Summit, is organized by ISC around the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA76) in New York in September 2021.

Dr Sheikh Fayaz is working as a full-time innovation researcher with the School of Management, Zhejiang University, one of the top public universities in China. He works on ‘secondary innovations’ and regional development. Sheikh Fayaz holds his M.Phil and PhD from the Centre for Studies in Science Policy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi-India.

Prior to joining Zhejiang University, Dr Fayaz was a Visiting Scholar at the Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), Portugal, under European Commission’s Crossing Boundaries Project funded by Marie Curie Actions, International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (2014), School of Management, University of Bradford, England (Oct- Nov 2014) and University of Sussex, London and Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, England, (2017). He is also a member of the Globelics community and is an alumnus of various Globelics innovation academies held in Finland, Kenya and Brazil.

The other speakers for the science summit include some of the world’s leading development practitioners, researchers, scientists, and politicians from different parts of the world. Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, President, International Science Council, George Church from Harvard University Wyss Institute, Dr Magdalena Skipper, Editor in Chief, Nature, UK, Prof. Intisar Soghayroun Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Sudan and Dr Marcia McNutt President, National Academy of Sciences, USA, joined the opening plenary session held on September 14, 2021.

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Startups

IIM-J Srinagar Off-Campus holds innovators meet

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IIM-J Srinagar innovators meet

Institute’s incubation centre ThinkIN to commence work in Srinagar soon

Srinagar, Aug 27: Indian Institute of Management Jammu (IIM-J), Srinagar Off-campus organised an innovators Meet at their Nowgam campus here.

IIM-J Srinagar innovators meet

 

The program was organized in association with Grassroots Innovations and Agumemtation Network (GIAN), Gujarat. The program was attended by more than 20 innovators from different parts of the valley, who shared their experiences and challenges in a session that was also attended by scholars, researchers and faculty members from institutes like Harvard University, Zhejiang University, NIT Srinagar, IIM Jammu, GIAN and Kashmir University.

IIM Jammu started its off-campus in Srinagar recently and the campus is set up with an aim of broad outreach and a focus on corporate training, innovations and Entrepreneurship in the Kashmir region.

The objective of this in-house discussion was to facilitate the bottom-up narrative about local innovations. The structural and institutional challenges peripheral innovators face while scaling up their innovations were identified and documented. To nurture local innovations both from the formal and informal settings, it was agreed that a robust actor-sector collaboration will be forged.

In his welcome and concluding address, Chairman IIM Jammu’s Srinagar Off-campus Dr Muqbil Burhan assured the innovation stakeholders of the valley that IIM Jammu will offer a strong platform for local innovations, traditional industries and outstanding traditional knowledge holders and play an important role in creating an ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in the region. Further, he said that IIM has set up an Entrepreneurship and Innovation Centre at Srinagar and Jammu campuses with the sole objective of nurturing innovation and startups. The centre has also set up a business incubator with the name “ThinkIN” for startups and is going to be functional this year with the first batch of incubatees.

Dr Sheikh Fayaz Ahmad, who is currently working as an innovation researcher at Zhejiang University China, also spoke on the occasion and stressed understanding the bottom-up narrative from innovators which is a must for crafting any innovation policy. Referring to the innovation policy history, he said that the top-down policy directionality has not helped local innovations. The local narrative about innovations is always wanting. For building a robust innovation system in Kashmir he mentioned that innovators perspectives are very important.

Dr Shabir Hassan, a research scientist at Harvard Medical School while congratulating local innovations, IIM Jammu and Gian spoke about the importance of organising discussions and discourses on value-based innovations and entrepreneurship for nurturing innovation culture in Kashmir. He agreed to work with the local innovations for further value addition and scaling up. Appreciating the idea of creating innovation clubs, he suggested that local innovation stops should be set up in local universities and enterprises.

Syed Nadeem, Gian coordinator, referred to local success stories documented by his organisation from the last ten years. He said that local innovations fail to create meaningful impact precisely because of institutional hurdles. Creating pro-innovation institutions and the right incentives he believed would usher an innovation culture in Kashmir.

The meet was also attended by Prof Saad from NIT Srinagar who gave his valuable suggestion to the innovators and suggested collaboration supporting a better ecosystem for innovations in the valley. Various successful Entrepreneurs from the valley like Sheikh Iqbal (Founder, Tashawur), Ufair Aejaz (CEO & Founder KMTTI), Abdul Hamid Bhat (CEO Raheem Greens) also attended the event and interacted with the innovators on the occasions.

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Economy

Nobel laureate economist Prof Yunus to address Kashmir students

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Prof Yunus to address Kashmir students

BK News

Srinagar, Feb 9: Nobel laureate economist and World-renowned microfinance banker Prof Muhammad Yunus will address Kashmir students, academicians, and entrepreneurs in an online programme on March 11 at 3.30 pm.

To discuss the post-COVID19 innovation and growth model, Prof Yunus will be the lead participant in a fireside chat on ‘Rethinking Innovation and Growth Models in Post-COVID19 World’ organised by IIED Centre of NIT Srinagar in collaboration with School of Management, Zhejiang University and Yonus Centre, Dhaka.

“We are happy that Yunus Sahab agreed to participate. His few words could be boon for students. I believe we all – students and faculty – will benefit,” said Prof Saad Parvez, Head of Innovation Incubation & Entrepreneurship Development (IIED) Centre of NIT Srinagar.

Prof Parvez, who is also the convenor of the programme, said besides NIT, students from the Higher Education Department and other institutions will also be able to participate in the event.

As the pandemic has wreaked havoc on nearly all business, economic, education, health, and social sectors, there is huge policy cry to ‘rethink’ the existing business and innovation models around the world. Prof Yunus is one such voice advocating to redesign and rethink the existing growth models.

Prof Yunus is considered the father of both social business and microcredit. He is the founder of Grameen Bank, and of more than 50 other companies in Bangladesh.

Prof Yunus and Grameen Bank were jointly awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.

In 2012, the Fortune Magazine named Prof Yunus as ‘One of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time’ for his constant innovation and enterprise.

He is one of only seven individuals to have received the Nobel Peace Prize, the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom and the United States Congressional Gold Medal. He has also appeared on the cover of Time Magazine, Newsweek, and Forbes Magazine.

Chief discussant for the event will be Prof Xiaobo Wu of Zhejiang University, China. He is director of the National Institute for Innovation Management and Zhejiang University—Cambridge University Joint Research Centre for Global Manufacturing and Innovation Management.

The discussion will be moderated by Dr Sheikh Fayaz Ahmad, who works as an Innovation Researcher with the Zhejiang University, China. Hailing from Kupwara, Dr Fayaz holds a PhD in innovation studies from the Centre for Studies in Science Policy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Dr Fayaz thanked Talat Parvez Rohella, Commissioner Secretary to Government, Department of Higher Education, Government of Jammu and Kashmir, the Director of NIT -Srinagar, Prof Rakesh Sehgal, Dean School of Management, Zhejiang University, Yonus Centre Dhaka for helping facilitate this event. He also thanked STC- Srinagar and Raheem Greens for agreeing to offer the technical support for the session

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