Western Sydney University (WSU), Australia is conducting 16-week comprehensive training for the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) Kashmir students for developing entrepreneurial orientation and converting their innovations and business ideas into successful and commercially viable enterprises.
According to a statement issued here, the aim of the programme, which is first of kind training held for students of a university from J&K, is to nurture Kashmir’s agricultural entrepreneurs for tomorrow, who will run technology-driven and artificial intelligence-based agribusinesses. It will also expose the students to international standards of innovation and entrepreneurship.
The 12-module training programme by the Business School of WSU, Australia is organised under the sponsorship of the World Bank-ICAR funded National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) for the institutional development of the SKUAST-K.
SKUAST-K was the only institution among the seven agricultural universities of the country approved by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research for the training. For organising the training for its students, SKUAST-K has to enter into an MoU with the Western Sydney University, Australia.
The 60 students who will undergo the training were selected from 440 applicants from the various faculties of the SKUAST-K. The selection of the students was done on the basis of a test conducted by the WSU, Australia to check the entrepreneurial ability, innovative ideas and startup knowledge of the applicants.
Also, 12 teachers of the SKUAST-K are taking part in the training, who will act as mentors of the students in their entrepreneurial quest and will also help in creating an ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship at SKUAST-K.
Vice-Chancellor SKUAST-K Prof JP Sharma chaired the online inaugural session of the programme. The V-C, in his address, defined innovative and entrepreneurial behaviour of people as a key for any nations progress. While appreciating the organizing team from both the Universities, he stressed getting ideas converted into viable enterprise while keeping the essence of social responsibility.
Dean College of Business, WSU, Prof Amir Mahmood, expressed enthusiasm at joining hands in promoting global entrepreneurship skills with local taste among the students of SKUAST-K. Director Planning and Monitoring and PI NAHEP, Prof NA Ganai, talked about the concerted efforts gone into making the programme happening to tap the potential of students in making agriculture a viable venture by adopting advanced technology.
Don Wright from Western Sydney University in his message expressed satisfaction and desire to have a meaningful impact on the association through the currently devised module. The other officers and faculty members from Western Sydney University who are set to be engaged with the program include Ian Anderson, Inu Rana and Nisha Rakhesh to mention but a few., Coordinator Innovation and Entrepreneurship Cell, IDP NAHEP, Dr Farahnaz Rasool conducted the proceedings of the function.
Initially, Inu Rana gave the opening comments followed by a presentation on current activities of Western Sydney University by Nisha Rakhesh. The conception of the program was outlined by Dr FA Zaki, Consultant HRM NAHEP SKUAST-K. Prof MAA Siddique described the program as highly relevant in the current times to make agricultural students job-ready. Among others who attended the program include Prof TH Masoodi (Dean, Faculty of Forestry SKUAST-K), Prof Azmat Alam (Associate Director Research) and other faculty members.