Monday, September 24, 2012

Agriculture Leadership Award to IIT Kanpur

Here is the announcement from Dean, Research and Development:

I am vey happy to inform you that this year IIT Kanpur is a recipient of the Agriculture Leadership Awards. These awards were given on 19th Sept, 2012 by the Hon'ble Union Minister of State for Agriculture Sri Harish Rawat at a function in New Delhi. Dr. M S Swaminathan was the Chairman of the Jury.
The award is in recognition of the innovative knowledge management model in agriculture extension developed by Prof. T V Prabhakar, Department of Computer Science and Engineering through several projects funded by ICAR, NAIP, BITCOE etc.
The detailed citation of the award says "IIT Kanpur, a premier engineering and research institute of the country, has successfully implemented various agricultural projects with innovative technologies and capacity building for sustainable development. Its Agropedia, a semantically enabled agricultural knowledge management repository is a first of its kind in Indian agriculture. The Institute’s yet another product, Openagri, an open access agriculture research repository, is a focused research space for hosting agriculture documents. IIT-Kanpur’s Voice-Krishi Vigyan Kendra (vKVK), developed to facilitate communication between extension personnel and farming communities is presently reaching to the extension personnel of 90 Krishi Vigyan Kendras and likely to be up scaled by ICAR to all 630 KVKs in the 12th Five Year Plan. KVK-Net and Agrotagger was also developed by this prestigious institution."

Other awardees include:

National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources for exceptional work in conservation of genetic resources
Nuziveedu Seeds Limited for exceptional work in agriculture extension
Suguna Foods Limited for exceptional business leadership in poultry sector in India
Indian Oil Corporation Limited for environment friendly products and farm sustainability
State of Kerala for innovative policy initiatives towards transforming horticulture
State of Madhya Pradesh for visionary leadership and exceptional performance in farm production


Here is the link to agropedia
And here is the link to openagri
Finally, you can find more about Prof. T V Prabhakar at his homepage


  1. Having recieved an award for technological advancements in agriculture is a plus. But i would still like to say that IIT Kanpur doesn't utilize its land efficiently. By this statement, i referred to the barren land behind hall-8 and the newly constructed hall-10. This land can be utilized for some agricultural purposes, The land can even be leased out to some farmers on a contractual basis. This will help get institute some funds and also save the land from becoming barren and hence is a win win situation for the institute. The land can be used at any time if required for further expansion of buildings in IIT Kanpur.

  2. Really good to see IITK making its mark on Agriculture also and getting recognized for it.

    @Prateek A noble idea but I am not so sure about Implementation part of it. IIT is first and foremost a Science and Technology Institute. Humanities adds value to it and doesn't take too much resource also. An agricultural institute requires a different kind of focus. It is not a side activity that can easily merge within Ambit of IIT.
    The utilization of land is a nice idea, but IITs simply don't have the bandwidth for it because of overstretched faculty and staff. Second, noble ideas such a contractual farming are open invitation for exploitation of legalities. In Hostels, IIT is unable to assure minimum wages for contract works in Mess because of practical limitations. Construction activities in institute have seen couple of accidents. And it is not because IITK isn't concerned but there are practical limitations on bandwidth.
    Lets not lose our focus. Farming is beyond ambit of IITK and it can get raise far better funding through promoting Entrepreneurship in Technology areas itself. E-cell of IITK is a really good initiative in that regard.

  3. @Prof Sanghi :
    This blog is closes social source that I have seen about finding happenings in Institute through Official channels. Can we take this one step forward and establish a facebook/google plus page, and start publishing the same. IIT Guwahati has a fb page, IITD has a google plus page. IITK Alumni Associations Facebook page has membership of 9325 and quite a few regular readers .. A FB/Twitter page publishing official news will be really welcome .. Though I haven't used any, but there are sites/ free services available which allows managing all social media accounts from a single place. ROI (return on investment) will be great from these initiatives.

  4. @Umesh, We certainly are very weak in leveraging social networking. I do see DRPG office making some efforts in posting at least big news on the FB page, but we need to do much more. And frankly, the issue is a larger one. I find IIT Kanpur to be somewhat conservative when it comes to adopting new technologies - whether it is something as simple as video recording of lectures, use of a learning management system, online student feedback, not to mention MOOCs and other interesting things happening in the world around us. Ever since the internal newsgroups have become defunct, we haven't replaced them with an internal blogging site. And I have no idea how to encourage smarter technology adoption on campus.