भा.कृ.अ.प. - भारतीय कृषि अनुसंधान संस्थान | ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute


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IARI Self Study Report for 2nd NAAC Cycle

Supporting Documents

Criteria- 2:    Teaching-Learning and Evaluation.

The institute has a robust in-built mechanism for continuous monitoring of the students; regular quizzes, term-paper presentations and mid-term examinations are held in each course and individual and group assignments given to the students. Such activities not only keep the students on their toes but also boost their confidence and sense of involvement, which is of utmost importance for creating interest in the course. In addition, performance in these auxiliary teaching activities clearly segregates the slow learners from the advanced learners. Once identified, the slow learners are given extra attention, time and study material by the course instructors. Besides, after this initial assessment heterogenous groups, comprising of advanced and slow learners, are made in each course for various group activities and they are made aware about the advantages of the peer-learning. Advanced learners are requested to help out slow learners in every aspect and clarify their minutest and silliest of their doubts to the extent possible. This practice is beneficial to both the categories of the students as it clarifies the doubts of the slow learners and provides deeper insights to the advanced learners.

Further, all faculty members have been clearly instructed to conduct a quiz in the introductory class to assess the different levels of students and their different teaching requirements. The faculty members cover the required fundamental aspects in their initial classes to bring student population to the similar level. Students with deficiency in basic levels of specific subject are advised to consult required literature, and students with difficulties in English are asked to take special English courses (non-credit) offered by the institute.
Furthermore, the allotment of the chairpersons to all the students is completed within 1-2 months and their Advisory committee constituted along with PPW submission. The students can approach any their advisory committee members and for that matter any of the faculty members including HOD and professor of the division in case of any difficulty encountered.
The institute offers remedial courses to the students who have not done any course related to Agriculture during their Bachelor’s or Master’s degree programme. These students need to undergo introductory courses on agriculture during the first year of their study at IARI. All the international non-agricultural graduates admitted at IARI shall also have to complete the prescribed remedial courses on Introductory Agriculture as per the approved schedule. Besides, the students from non-English speaking countries undertake English language course.

The motto of the IARI is to generate globally-competent human resource, who can excel in any environment and circumstances and can positively address to the ever-changing needs and demands of the society and serve the nation in the diverse fields of agriculture. We earnestly believe that graduate from our institute should not be only job-seekers but they should be trained enough to start their own enterprises and be the job provider for a larger cause of the nation. To accomplish this objective, the students are engaged in various field and laboratory exercises, wherein they are exposed to real-life problems and expected to encounter novel and unfamiliar situations that support new learnings and experiences. The purpose of such exercises is to engage them intellectually, creatively, emotionally and socially in a task in order to impart them priceless conceptual insights. Such exercises are usually followed by brainstorming sessions, where students dissect and critically reflect the results of the case studies they were involved in and asked to design possible strategies to address the problems encountered during the course of the exercise. Students are provided sufficient opportunities to take new initiative, make their own decisions and be accountable for the results.
Further, the scientists of IARI are spearheading “Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav (MGMG)”-a mega scheme of Indian Council of Agricultural research (ICAR) to promote direct interface of the scientists with farmers. Under this scheme, all scientists are part of a MGMG team, which adopts a cluster five villages for the hand-holding of the farmers of that village especially the small and marginal farmers belonging to reserved categories. These MGMG teams mandatorily visit these adopted villages for the demonstration of their technologies for the benefit of the farmers. The students are also encouraged to accompany their respective chairpersons for such activities to acquire knowledge about the lab-to-land transfer of technologies and to gain in-field training. Besides, students are supported to present their research findings in various symposia, conferences and workshops. The students are promoted and motivated to pose questions during the lectures and seminars to inculcate analytical thinking skills in them. They are made to understand “what?” and “why?” of a problem and asked to find “how?” using their own understanding and analytical skills. The senior Ph.D. students having aptitude, skills and knowledge are involved in the teaching programme to improve their understanding of the subject and to impart them necessary training for the teaching.

The institute follows ICT enabled teaching in addition to the traditional classroom education. There is a well-established Agricultural Knowledge Management Unit (AKMU), which is involved in hosting and maintenance of e-resources and developing ICT in agricultural research. Internet services (10 Gbps NKN connectivity) in IARI are being provided by AKMU to all the divisions and student hostels. All the classrooms and laboratories in different Divisions are well equipped with modern ICT-tools. The Prof. M.S. Swaminathan Library at IARI is a constituent of Consortium for e-Resources in Agriculture (CeRA) under ICAR, which provides 24x7 online accesses of select journals and e-books in agricultural and allied sciences to all researchers, teachers and students.

The faculty members are routinely using online teaching platform such as Zoom/Google Meet/Microsoft teams for conducting classes, seminars and viva-voce examinations. Majority of the academic meetings are conducted by the faculty members using these online platforms. Most of the divisions have smart classrooms with high-end LCD projectors supplemented and complemented with interactive boards and high-resolution cameras. In addition, the institute has developed a robust and comprehensive PGS online management system, which enables online execution of majority of the teaching related activities. The course-associates involved in the teaching of a course upload the course schedule along with all the teaching materials including Powerpoint presentations, and course-centric study material on this online platform. The institute gives due weightage to the innovative online teaching methods developed by faculty members while awarding Best Teacher Award of the Institute.

The institute has its own You tube channel on which education is provided to various stakeholders in different languages on weekly basis. The institute is also effectively utilizing various social media platforms for dissemination of information and knowledge. Under a world bank-funded National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP), the scientists of IARI are involved as “Content Creators” and “Content Reviewers” for the development of e-Learning systems (e-courses), and students and faculty members of all agricultural universities have been provided “anytime anywhere” access. The faculty of IARI is also involved in the development of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) under the umbrella of this NAHEP project. The institute takes legitimate pride in being recognized as a Centre for Advanced agricultural Science and Technology (CAAST) in Genomics under NAHEP project in which huge ICT infrastructure and digital information have been created for the benefit of the students enrolled in agricultural institutes. The renowned scientists from across the world, who are stalwarts in their own fields, are invited as guest speakers for delivering online lectures using these ICT tools for expanding the vision and horizon of the students.

The development of PGS online management system at IARI has clearly expedited each and every activity related to teaching, including examination process, thereby resulting in tremendous improvement in the efficiency and effectivity. The students and faculty members now have more time at their disposal to focus on the academic activity. Furthermore, IT integration has modernized the entire examination system bringing in more accountability and transparency in the whole process leading to more students’ satisfaction and lesser grievances and complaints. Currently, the students are using following online facilities: registration of approved courses, submission of PPW and ORW of thesis research work, payment of fees, viewing the results of various examinations, submitting proposals for qualifying viva voce examination, thesis submission and for addition/deletion in their Advisory Committee. The credit seminars, ORW presentations, thesis seminar presentations, Qualifying viva voce examinations, thesis viva-voce examinations of students, and BOS meetings for the progress reports’ monitoring of students are held on the online platforms, which has drastically cut down the travel of faculty members within the campus for partaking in the aforementioned academic activities. Google forms are created by faculty members for the purpose of conducting various quizzes and surveys. The students are given an opportunity to go through their evaluated answer scripts of end-term examinations and their grievances, if any, are addressed instantly and duly rectified without any fee. The integration of IT has also enabled error-free computation of grades obtained in various courses and generation of OGPA. Semester-wise examination schedule(date-sheet) is prepared and distributed amongst all the concerned in the online mode. The results of the various examinations are also submitted online by the respective course leaders, which has significantly reduced the time gap between generation of the examination result and its access to the students.

A. 100% automation of entire division & implementation of Examination Management System (EMS)
B. Only student registration, Hall ticket issue & Result Processing
C. Only student registration and result processing
D. Only result processing

The PG School, IARI has developed a PG School calendar which contains the information pertaining to programmes offered, programme objectives, programme specific objectives, the course structure, and the course syllabi (a copy of this is uploaded on the IARI website as well as PGS online management system). The course syllabus prominently displays the course objectives and course outcomes. The syllabus also provides information about scheme of instruction and evaluation. All students are apprised of the objectives and expected outcomes of their programme on admission during orientation programme. Both M.Sc./M.Tech. and Ph.D. students need to take courses in their Major and Minor fields in order to gain comprehensive knowledge.

After having successfully completed the major portion (at least 75%) of their course work, written qualifying examination in the major and minor fields is conducted. After successful completion of these written qualifying examinations, a pre-comprehensive oral examination is conducted at divisional level wherein students are evaluated and prepared by the faculty members of their respective disciplines for the oral qualifying examination to be conducted by external experts in addition to the members of the students’ advisory committee. The qualifying examination is then held to test student’s general mastery of the concerned scientific discipline and his/her general fitness for receiving degree from IARI-the most prestigious institute in the field of agriculture.

Research work is mandatory for both Master and Ph.D. programmes. All the students must conduct research work, and submit a thesis for completing the degree programme. The outcome of their thesis work in terms of research paper publications and/or development of patents/copyrights/processes/methods/models/technologies carries a significant weightage when eligible students compete for the IARI Merit Medals and Best Student of the Year Award.

The syllabi of these courses are revised as per the needs and requirements of the various stakeholders to ensure that students are job-ready as soon as they get graduated from IARI. Furthermore, remedial introductory courses on agriculture have been designed for students, who have not been exposed to agricultural scientific disciplines in their bachelor’s or Master degree programme. Besides, there are mandatory non-credit compulsory courses developed for students to improve their soft skills, scientific aptitude, research ethics, moral values and general awareness and also to make them aware about their social responsibilities. These courses are of utmost importance in this era of cut-throat competition and enable us to attain our programme objectives, which includes imparting moral values, ethics and social sensibilities amongst the students so that they can contribute meaningfully towards nation-building.

The attainment of POs, PSOs and COs is evaluated at various level; At the end of the semesters the students provide their feedback about each of the courses attended by them in that semester. A comprehensive evaluation proforma covering various aspects of the course has been developed for this purpose. The feedback submitted by the students is discussed by the Course leader with all the course associates and corrective measures and suggestions communicated to Professor of the Division. Board of Studies evaluates the feedback proformae submitted by the students at the end of each semester/trimester, wherein suggestions made by the students and faculty members are thoroughly discussed and strategies redesigned e.g. addition of new components under selected practical/theory topics, reshuffling of topics amongst the course instructors involved in the teaching of a particular course, inviting Guest lecturers having expertise in specific topics, incorporation of new assignments, arranging field/industrial visits for students for exposing them to real-life situations, incorporating term paper presentations and group discussions on recent developments related to the course content. The performance of the students in various examinations including competitive examinations, their participation and achievements in extracurricular, social and/or community activities and quality, ease and diversity of their placement across the sectors is considered as the litmus test for successful attainment of the POs, PSOs and COs, which in turn not only enables the students to acquire requisite skills, expertise and attitude needed to be successful in their respective careers but also ensures that they contribute effectively and efficiently towards the growth of the nation.

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