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National Agricultural Innovation Project - Rice Knowledge Management Portal
Launch Workshop - 16th and 17th June 2009:
A two day workshop was conducted at Directorate of Rice Research on 16th and 17th June, 2009 to formally launch the project on “Development and Maintenance of Rice Knowledge Management Portal” funded by the National Agricultural Innovation Project(NAIP). The inaugural session was held on the forenoon of 16/06/09. Dr. Mruthyunjaya, National Director NAIP was the Chief Guest, Shri K.V. Satyanarayana IAS, Director General MANAGE presided over the function and Dr. N. T. Yaduraju, National Coordinator, NAIP (Component-1) was the Guest of Honour. The meeting was attended by consortium partners representing 8 centres from all parts of India. Renowned rice scientists like Dr. E.A. Siddiq, Dr. K. Krishnaiah and extension experts Dr. Veerabadriah, Dr. P.N. Mathur and Dr. Dipak De also took active part in the meeting.
Dr. B.C. Viraktamath, Project Director, DRR and Consortium leader welcomed the gathering. He thanked the NAIP for awarding such a prestigious project and briefed the gathering about various steps that the project has passed through from its inception as a concept note an year back and how it was fine tuned to the present status. The Consortium Principal Investigator, Dr. Shaik N. Meera presented the details of the project. He explained in brief about the various information systems which will be a part of the RKMP portal and about the consortium partners involved in the project. Dr. N.T. Yaduraju talked of the limitations of traditional extension systems and the need to empower the extension personnel and farmers and enumerated the role of NAIP in empowering the farmers with advanced technologies for their benefit. He explained the various ways in which NAIP is trying to promote ICTs in agriculture. Sky is the limit for knowledge and NAAS partners need a secure mode of sharing this information and stressed the importance of a Rice portal in this IT era. He also mentioned about the creation of Central Data Center in NAAS complex. He concluded that this portal should be a fore runner for many other crops and congratulated all the concerned and wished it to be grand success. He emphasized the need to observe the financial and procedural codes for successful implementation of the project.
This was followed by the release of a brochure on RKMP in a folder format and a bulletin on ITKs in rice cultivation authored by Dr. P. Muthuraman and his coworkers. Incidentally, the bulletin will be the first e-book to be uploaded in the rice portal.
Dr. Mruthyunjaya outlined the strict processes the NAIP funded projects have go through with a processing time of 7-11 months before it is sanctioned. He stated that the Project has been well formulated and if the challenges can be overcome it will be a model project for other crops as well as He stated that there are lots of Intellectual resources but the limitation is that it is widely scattered, segmented and unprocessed. Under this portal, efforts can be made to integrate all information about rice in digital form with a single gateway for access by a variety of stakeholders.
Shri K.V. Satyanarayana delivered the presidential address and emphasized the timeliness of such a venture which will help fill up the lacunae in existing linkages among rice stakeholders and help to update the knowledge levels of extension personnel operating at grass-root level. During the workshop, modalities on implementation of the project were discussed. The Inaugural session ended with Vote of thanks proposed by Dr. Mangal Sain, Head, TTT.
Session II: Technical Session
In the afternoon of 16/06/09, the technical session was chaired by Dr. Mruthyunjaya and co chaired by Dr. NT Yaduraju. There were two presentations to set the toned for the RKMP portal discussions related to ICTs and knowledge sharing in agriculture. Dr. V. Balaji presented online, an update on ICT initiatives in the country and its relevance to RKMP. This was followed by general discussions and suggestions. Dr. Mrutyunjaya said that trainings will be conducted for financial management and procurement and requested that concerned people who will be directly involved in the project be sent. He emphasized the need to send audit and utilization certificates in time. The general points that emerged from the deliberations on the first day are
- Service Information System should be more focused and strengthened
- Requirement of different stakeholders need to be collected so that the portal will be able to meet these needs
- The critical parameter which makes the portal more interesting need special emphasis.
- The status before and after RKMP should be assessed critically.
- A web site link for the project and consortium partners need to be created
- Advertisements should be made in National Papers for the recruitment and national competitive bidding
- Mis-procurements will not be reimbursed
- No repeat orders are entertained under NAIP
Business Session: 17/06/09
The session was chaired by Dr. BC Viraktamath. He welcomed the cooperators and consultants. Dr. Kathiresan of CDAC presented on India development gateway and the E-sikshak software available for translations in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, English. This was followed by Dr. Shaik N Meera’s detailed presentation on RKMP in action and supported by Ms. Sailaja. The Consortium mode operation was discussed led by Dr. Meera and assisted by Chitra Shanker follwed by an Overview of Information Systems led by Dr. Shaik N Meera and Dr.Brajendra. The Work flow management of RKMP was discussed in detail with emphasis on M & E Indicators, Integration of M & E with info systems and the Workplan to Action points for all 69 activities.
The action points that emerged from this session were summarized by Dr. Chitra Shanker and Dr. Brajendra and are given below;
· Director pointed out that SRF, RA to be carefully selected as they are crucial for the effective implementation of the project.
· Within one week advertisement for RA and SRF has to be made.
· Launch meeting for sensitizing the stakeholders in rice at regional level need to be conducted at centers before second fortnight of July.
· VCs and Heads also need to be informed of the RKMP and the time needed to be spent by the CoPIs
· Bench mark surveys to determine lacunae and need requirements should be carried out as early as possible. Dr. Meera said that a part of the questionnaire has been developed already for some states and needs to be circulated among the CoPIs.
· A list of service providers should also be prepared
· A tentative calendar of probable dates of work shop may be prepared with venue by 3rd week of July.
· Framework for workshops i.e., modalities such as who should attend, what should be the agenda and what should be the outcome should be finalized. The checklist for material to be brought to workshop by participants must be finalized and circulated
· Already 54 content heads for rice have been identified which will be shared. CoPIs will share other content needs.
· Co PIs will also provide list of private agencies that can participate in RKMP
· Rice news already published can be used from other sources such as IRRI Newsletter, Deep water rice newsletter etc.
· The Directory of rice stakeholders should also include progressive and award winning farmers
· RKMP should address “How to achieve what you want to achieve” taking the experience of the more than 10 tonne club of farmers.
· IARI will do some flash objects on climate change scenarios
· Universities and other FLDs data should be considered for the Extension Information System.
· Rice based systems and production systems should be reflected
· In RIS the global status related to rice should also be reflected
· The rice almanac should be completed at the earlier
· RKMP final document with soft copy to be sent to all Co PIs
· ZARS Mandya will need to give 5 computers to AICRIP centres under their jurisdiction.
· Some Western UP districts will be covered by IARI
· Kanpur (instead of Varanasi) and Faizabad will be the AICRIP centres associated with BAU, Ranchi
· Deadlines for Contractual recruitment by August end and goods procurement by November
The experts Dr. Veerabadriah & Dr.Mathur gave the following suggestions for better execution of the project.
1. Time frame and interconnectivity should be given due attention
2. IRRI material would compliment this portal
3. By-products of rice should be considered
4. Online courses should reflect the end users needs
5. Regular updating of portal is of utmost necessity
6. Keep up time frame for procurement
7. Mechanization, organic farming etc., should be added in content
The discussion came to end with Vote of thanks proposed by Dr. Muthuraman.
This issues with the approval of the Consortium Leader, NAIP-RKMP