Vice Chancellor in charge of Assam Agricultural University Ashok Kumar Bhattacharyya inaugurated e-lab, an e-learning facility at the university in Jorhat on Tuesday.

The e-learning facility under AdaptNET programme was opened at the DBT- North East Centre for Agricultural Biotechnology (DBT-NECAB).

The DBT-North East Centre for Agricultural Biotechnology (DBT-NECAB), which operates through AAU, established the e-learning laboratory as part of the AdaptNET-ERASMUS+ project, funded by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) of the European Commission.

An official of the university said Vice Chancellor Bhattacharyya inaugurated the e-lab in a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony in the presence of the Registrar, Dean, Faculty members of AAU, DPGS, DSW, deputy comptroller, students, researchers and all AdaptNET associates, who had joined online.

The Indian coordinator of AdaptNET, Dr. BK Sarmah, the ICAR-national professor (Norman Borlaug Chair) and director of DBT-NECAB, informed that AdaptNET has a partnership between four higher educational institutions in India and four institutes in Europe.

It is a mission of “Strengthening education, research and innovation for climate smart crops in India”.

The official said earlier this year, 29 scientists from India were sent on a training to three European and one Indian institute to strengthen their competencies in climate smart agriculture and serve as ‘master trainers’ in the e-labs.

Besides, 16 scholarships would be awarded to Indian students for refining their knowledge on climate-change in labs of selected partner organizations for three months.

Dr Sarmah introduced the coordinator of AdaptNET Dr. Andreas Voloudakis from Agricultural University of Athens,

Greece, partner from Academy of Athens and Dr. Carlo Pozzi, partner from University of Milano, Italy.

He also introduced Dr. Roberto Papa from Polytechnic University of Marche; Indian partners Dr. Rajeev Varshney from ICRISAT; Dr. Katageri from UASD and Dr. Deben Baruah from Tezpur University, all of whom joined the programme virtually.

The official said Professor Voloudakis and Professor Carlo added that the trainings were only the beginning to shift the paradigm of agriculture towards a climate-smart perspective thus, updating existing graduate programs and teaching methodologies.

Dr J Deka, Dean, faculty of Agriculture, informed that through the e-lab, approved courses on climate-smart strategies will be disseminated with an initial target of 25 students.

The distant learning endeavour will be extended further on other e-learning portals of the Government of India for a wider reach.

The Vice Chancellor lauded the collaboration and emphasised that the establishment of e-lab is well-timed in the current scenario of social distancing.

He assured of all support in joining the European and Indian government’s efforts to mitigate climate change effects.

Smita Bhattacharyya

Smita Bhattacharyya is Northeast Now Correspondent in Jorhat. She can be reached at: triptyaddy@gmail.com