New Delhi: Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) have come together to promote innovation in the agricultural sector among school students across India. The two government bodies have agreed to connect Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) with Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVKs) and Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMAs) under the initiative.
The collaboration is a result of the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who seeded this idea during a conversation and proposed to connect the ATLs with the KVKs across the country. The Prime Minister also suggested both government bodies look into the idea of linking soil testing labs to ATL schools.
KVKs function as a “Single Window Agricultural Knowledge Resource and Capacity Development Centre,” and this collaboration will provide numerous stakeholders with the necessary information, training, and inputs. KVKs, in partnership with ATMA, will collaborate with nearby ATLs to support agricultural-related innovation.
During the first phase of the implementation, one KVK under each of the 11 Agricultural Technology Application Research Institutes (ATARIs) will be involved, providing technology backstopping and facilitating knowledge-sharing and skill-building exercises. KVK experts will also undertake need-based visits to nearby ATLs, while KVKs will provide literature, seeds, planting materials, and other inputs as required. The pilot project will be extended after assessing the positive outcomes after two years.
Speaking during the event, Mission Director Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, Dr. Chintan Vaishnav said, “In my mind, this step is going to be a giant leap towards boosting agriculture innovations in India. There are two aspects of this collaboration that are worth replicating across many sectors. First, the idea of linking the existing government platforms with a purpose. For example, public health centres and ATLs could be linked similarly for better healthcare and so on. Secondly, linking children, the most important change-makers of society to the real, most important challenges, and opportunities.” He said.
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