J&K Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha Inaugurates Projects at SKUAST Kashmir

Lieutenant Governor Shri Manoj Sinha inaugurated several significant infrastructure projects and introduced new academic programmes at SKUAST Kashmir. The Lt. Governor underscored the administration’s unwavering commitment to securing the future of the 70% population reliant on agriculture and allied sectors. Among the newly inaugurated projects were the Shalimar Convention Centre, Kohimaran Hostel, and the cutting-edge Discovery Building. The Discovery Building, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, is pivotal to achieving the vision of developing sustainable agricultural technologies aimed at enhancing farmers’ incomes. In his address, Lt. Governor Sinha lauded SKUAST Kashmir for incorporating “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” into its academic programmes, thus fostering an ecosystem ripe for innovation. The introduction of new undergraduate and master’s programmes is anticipated to cultivate a skilled workforce tailored for the agro-based industry and agri-tourism sectors. “SKUAST Kashmir is poised to emerge as a ‘Top Innovation Led Farm University’ in the country,” stated the Lt. Governor. He highlighted the university’s impressive achievements, including securing 25 patents over the past four years and establishing 26 startups, 17 of which are registered as private limited companies. Additionally, in collaboration with IIT Mandi, SKUAST-K is set to launch a B.Tech course in Artificial Intelligence this year. The Lt. Governor emphasized the critical role of modern technologies such as drones, artificial intelligence, machine learning, the Internet of Things, and blockchain in empowering youth and transforming the agriculture and food processing sectors in Jammu and Kashmir. These advancements are integral to realizing the potential of these sectors and driving economic growth. The significant contributions of the farming community and stakeholders in the agriculture sector were also acknowledged by the Lt. Governor. He commended the Vice Chancellor, faculty members, and students of SKUAST-K for their dedication to implementing the Holistic Agriculture Development Programme (HADP). The Lt. Governor called for their continued cooperation in bolstering the ecosystem of agro-based industries and enhancing farmers’ incomes. During the event, Lt. Governor Sinha unveiled SKUAST-K’s working model of the National Education Policy-2020. In a symbolic gesture of environmental commitment, he also planted a tree sapling within the university premises. The ceremony was attended by Prof. Nazir Ahmed Ganai, Vice Chancellor of SKUAST-Kashmir, along with Heads of Departments, senior officials, faculty members, and students, all of whom celebrated the university’s strides toward innovation and academic excellence. The inauguration of these projects and the launch of new programmes mark a significant step towards transforming subsistence agriculture into a technologically driven agri-economy, ensuring a prosperous future for the agrarian population of the region.

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