After the successful completion of first year of Massive Open Online Course (MOOCs) in agriculture, the National Virtual Academy for Indian Agriculture under the umbrella of ‘One Agriculture One Science Consortium’, launched the Part -2 of the programme in Hyderabad.
The Part -2 of the programme would be focused on diseases of horticultural crops and their management. The two month free online course, which will begin on November 30, 2015 and will conclude on January 29, 2016, is an initiative by a team of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in agriculture experts and educators from the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and its partners together with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay.
“Quality Education reaches the most inaccessible corners driven by Digital Learning, we are excited to see the launch of MOOCs Part- 2 in India, which offers high quality learning opportunities for students across the country,” said Dr David Bergvinson, Director General, ICRISAT.
The Part- I of the free online course, Diseases of Horticultural Crops and their Management – PATH372.1X, which was announced on 2 February 2015 in Chennai by Professor MS Swaminathan, Emeritus Chair of the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) concluded on 27 April 2015. The course witnessed over 900 enrolments from learner participants from across the country ranging from participants holding degree from junior high school to doctorate level.
“The course materials have been methodically planned and prepared by experienced team of educators and professors in the agricultural field, who have devoted their time and effort to educate the Indian masses on sustainable agriculture practices,” said Dr Sumanthkumar, Scientist – ICT for Development, ICRISAT.
The Part-2 course will cover distribution, symptoms, causes, disease cycles and management of diseases of important horticultural crops and their economic importance. The course can be used as a supplementary study material at the universities in the current semester where ‘Diseases of Horticultural Crops and their Management (PATH372)’ course is being offered.
The National Virtual Academy for Indian Agriculture is a strategic coalition of regional, national and international partners for brining widespread systematic change in the existing educational approaches of Indian agriculture.