Agriculture offers highest number of entrepreneurial opportunities in JK: Prof Sharma
Srinagar: SKUAST and Technology, Kashmir Thursday held a daylong brainstorming workshop on adoption of SKUAST-K Innovation and Startup Policy (SISP-2021).
The aim of the workshop was to hold consultation with the leading national and international experts, academia, industrialists, entrepreneurs, and student and faculty innovators for the adoption of a model innovation and startup policy for the SKUAST-K.
The policy is being formulated in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and National Innovation and Startup Policy (SISP) 2019 for a new direction to the faculty and students at the university towards innovation, startup creation, tech-based entrepreneurship and job creation.
SKUAST-K Innovation and Startup Policy (SISP- 2021) intends to create and promote student and faculty-driven innovation and a startup ecosystem in the university. The entrepreneurial ecosystem will play a key role in identifying, mentoring, nurturing the innovative and entrepreneurial potential of students, faculty and staff and transforming them into startup entrepreneurs.
Vice Chancellor, SKUAST-K, Prof JP Sharma, who is the author of many books on agriculture entrepreneurship and startups, said to promote entrepreneurship culture among the students, there is a need to inculcate new ideas among them. He said no country in the world has developed without creating an entrepreneurial culture.
Prof Sharma said there is no other sector than agriculture which has the highest number of entrepreneurial opportunities, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir that has tremendous potential in varied fields of the sector from food processing to food packaging, livestock and dairy industry, aromatic to medicinal plants.
However, he stressed that it is important to generate entrepreneurial ideas based on problem-solving and market demand.
While congratulating Director Planning and Monitoring for creating an ecosystem and conducting such events in the universities, Prof Sharma extended his and the university’s full support for such initiatives.
Director Planning and Monitoring, SKUAST-K, Prof Nazir Ahmad Ganai, who is also the Principal Investigator of the World Bank-ICAR funded NAHEP project for the institutional development of the university, deliberated in detail about the draft policy, its aims and objectives and the plan to go ahead. He said the policy delineates incentives for faculty and students involved in innovation and startups and suggests mechanisms in the areas of IP ownership, revenue sharing, equity sharing between institutes and incubated startups.
Talking about the various achievements of the university, Prof Ganai said SKUAST-K has emerged as the innovation university of Jammu and Kashmir. “In last two years, besides securing a number of patents and IPs, SKUAST-K has bagged a number of awards and grants for its innovations and startup ideas, including five prestigious BIRAC BIG grants from the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India,” he said.
Director Innovation and Incubation Centre, IIT-Kanpur and member National Startup Advisory Council, Prof Amitabha Bandyopadhyay, who participated through online mode, said that an innovation and startup policy is a must for an institution like SKUAST-K to achieve excellence in the field. He said securing five BIRAC grants is a big achievement. “I don’t know any other institution in the country which has got the give grants in such a short span of time. Only 3% of the applicants are able to secure a BIRAC grant. I congratulated you for this,” said Prof Bandyopadhyay.
Prof EMERITUS, Texas USA, Prof Bhanu Chowdhary said the university must focus on the curriculum right set of courses which can ignite the current of innovation among the students and help foster startups and entrepreneurship from the university.
Prof & Head AEABM, SKUAST-J, Prof Jyoti Kachroo stressed on the need for vocational training and business skills of undergraduate student innovators and entrepreneurs so that when they go out in the market they don’t face any hurdles.
Managing Director, Aarafh Foods, Abdul Rasheed said a startup policy is the best thing to happen in the university. It is the new beginning to bridge the gap between the industry and academia.
MD, Kashmir Developers, Mohsin Faheem offered collaboration of his company for the mentorship of the university’s student startups and entrepreneurs.
MD, Sarveshwar Foods Ltd, Rohit Gupta shared his experience and stressed the need for cultivating an innovation ecosystem and startup culture in the educational institutes.
SKUAST-K’s student and faculty innovators: Ahmer Bashir, BIRAC Awardee; Ambreen Hamdani, IIGP Awardee; Wardha Shah, RKVY RAFTAR, awardee; Dr Khalid Masoodi; Dr Khurshid Ahmad Bhat; Dr Barkat Hussain; and Dr Mudasir Andrabi talked about their innovation and startup ideas and put forth their feedback on the policy.
External expert members of the SISP, Arjimand Hussain, Prof Saad Parvez, Dr Majid Hussain Qadri and Irtif Mehraj Lone provided their inputs and comments on the policy.
Prof Rihanna Habib conducted the proceedings of the workshop and Prof Azmat Alam Khan presented the vote of thanks.
Various Deans and Directors of SKUAST-K spoke at the occasion and stressed leveraging innovation and entrepreneurship in academic research and education. A number of faculty and student innovators, academics, university staff, NAEHP staff and others participated in the workshop.