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The Process of Making RKMP

Knowledge Management in agriculture is relatively a new concept.  The mammoth task of driving the knowledge sharing process in agriculture requires lot of efforts at various hierarchical levels among agricultural organizations. 

In India, there is an urgent and strong need to adapt the KM strategies in agriculture.  In line with RKMP, there is a need to upscale KM initiatives in agriculture.

But before that, relevant human resources, tools, processes, strategies should be in place to transform agricultural organizations into “learning organizations”.  We are of the opinion that frameworks and success stories of KM worldwide need to be analyzed to prepare a road map for “KM in Agriculture”.

As a part of this vision, we wish to share the process that is involved in “Making of RKMP”.  If you are planning to work on agricultural semantic portals in future, please write to us for AKM (Agricultural Knowledge Management) tools, processes and strategies.


Design Features Workshop

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Proceedings of the Design Feature Workshop - 18th December 2009:

The workshop started with a brief welcome by Dr. J. S. Prasad, Principal Scientist & Head, Crop Protection. He invited intellectual contributions from all the CoPIs for making the workshop successful.

The meeting was attended by several scientists including the consortium partners from the 8 centres spread all over India. Dr. G.A.K. Kumar from CRRI, Cuttack, Dr. V. Balaji from ICRISAT, Hyderabad, Dr. P.S. Pandey from IARI, New Delhi, Dr. C. Kathiresan from CDAC, Hyderabad, Dr. Vaibhav Singh from Birsa Agricultural University, Ranchi, Dr. Amulya Kumar Mohanty from ICAR-NEH, Umiam, Dr. M.P. Rajanna from ZARS, Mandya (UAS, Bangalore), and Dr. Kunkerkar from RARS, Karjat took active part in the workshop. The Consortium Principal Investigator, Dr. Shaik N. Meera presented the details of the project. He explained in brief about the various information systems included in RKMP. He also presented an overview of the design feature workshop. Dr. Meera focused on key activities of design feature workshop to be undertaken throughout the day. He emphasized over the RKM portal functional requirements and the ideas related to design feature as secure username, single gateway, incorporation of external data, gateway linking rice datasets, portal vision, benchmarking, functional capability of RKMP, consistency, customization, standard profile, search engines, messaging, calendar, discussion, aggregation, alerts, switching over, language, about administrative process, portal administrations user (CPI, CMO).

Dr. K. V. Rao asked about how can a user edit, upload, or blog the RKMP content. This led to an active discussion. Dr. G.A.K. Kumar explained that subject-wise validation will be done by individual scientists of the concerned department. Dr. K.V. Rao again asked who will upload the content. Then Dr. Meera answered that DRR scientists & CMU, to begin with, can upload the content based on the need. Dr. Meera also explained the differential privileges for different groups/teams in uploading and editing the content.

Dr. Balaji, in his presentation suggested how best some of the features available with Agropedia be made use of. Dr. Deepak De asked about for whom we are talking should be known. Views and reviews are coming in individual field of wisdom should be allowed for everybody. Wiki pages have to be monitored on regular intervals to get the content validated and uploaded into the main knowledge base of RKMP. Dr. Kathiresan suggested that comments submitted and edited content should never be made visible until validation process is complete. Dr. Chitra suggested portal matrix will answer some of the queries. Dr. Mangal Sain asked about differences in package of practices from one place to another and how to validate and what should be suggested to farmers. Dr. Meera answered that generally AICRIP persons are from agricultural universities and their suggestions will be final. This was followed by presentations on status of RKMP at respective institutes. From DRR, Dr. Chitra explained about various activities undertaken at DRR. Dr. G.A.K. Kumar CRRI Cuttack in his presentations briefed about the developments of CRRI Cuttack centre. He also said that CRRI was to finalize a contract for video film 17 minutes, 60 video clippings for which there is a need to consolidate the funds from all the partners. This is followed by the review of achievements made in various institutes about the RKMP activities.

Dr. BC Viraktamath PD, DRR and CL had joined during the tea break and had addressed the group briefly. He said expectations are high on RKMP and called for focusing on three important Ps-People- right time right person, Procurement, Progress–Periodical

Dr. Balaji in his presentation focused on technology platforms and web 2.0 tools developed by technology institutes like IITs. He explained various features available with Agropedia developed by IIT-Kanpur. Dr. B.C.Virktamath informed the house that DRR is already working on rice Almanac and Dr. Brajendra from DRR had developed glossary of rice production technology in bilingual language and will be digitized in due course of time. Dr. Deepak De asked how language interfaces, semantic webs can be integrated. Dr. Balaji replied concepts rather words are searched in Agropedia, Followed by this, discussions were held on copy right issues and creative content pertinent to RKMP.

Dr. Meera requested Dr. Balaji to help in digitizing the datasets keeping in view the search ability and effective tagging. The latter agreed that ICRISAT would carry out core datasets digitization. Post lunch discussions were held on AICRIP nodal officers and need to follow up communications to these centres. It is decided that AICRIP centre at Pantnagar will be coordinated by IARI. Following this Dr. Meera presented regarding information architecture, RLOs. A comprehensive list of RLOs has been distributed to the partners and they were requested to get back with suggestions and revisions. It is decided that partners will send back their inputs by first week of January 2010. Later, Dr. Sailaja presented on design features and site maps of existing portals. Dr. De suggested importance of space, layout and readability of the websites. He was requested to send a draft paper on content layout for RKMP by first week of January. Dr. Meera suggested as when architecture is designed then these considerations will be taken care of. Dr. Meera requested Dr. De to give a presentation in the content workshop. To finalize the portal front-page layout, Dr. Chitra & Dr. Muthuraman have conducted a card sorting exercise. Dr. G.A.K Kumar suggested similar exercises need to be taken up involving as many stakeholders as possible. Six teams have come out with their own designs which are well documented for the future use. It is also decided that to finalizes the RKMP logo, a small competition may be held involving school children. Dr. Sailaja suggested RKMP should have tag lines.

In the evening, Dr. Shaik Meera summed up the day long activities and the future road map. Project Director suggested that the activities have to be expedited to cope up with the phasing schedule. Dr. GAK Kumar informed that CRRI is about to finalize tenders of 13 lakhs for video production. Project Director suggested clippings are better than full length video film. Listing of clippings to be made what should be taken and integrating it. Dr. Meera suggested the house, if all the CoPIs agree to the proposal to club the money available with their centres, then NC NAIP Comp-1 will be requested to send the consolidated money to CRRI. All the CoPIs present have agreed in principle for this. The workshop ended with the vote of thanks proposed by Dr. Mangal Sain.

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