Professor Indranil Manna, Director of the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK), today announced that a consortium of leading institutions will launch Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) in the agriculture sector, known as AgMOOCs, beginning in March, 2015. The Consortium is led by IIT-Kanpur; other members include, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), the Indian Institute of Management-Calcutta (IIMC) and the University of Agricultural Sciences-Raichur (UASR). The consortium is supported by the Government of India, through the Ministry of Human Resources Development’s National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) project. NPTEL is one of largest publishers of Open Educational Resources in the world.
Agriculture is critical to the economy and wellbeing of local communities. AgMOOCs will enable thousands of aspiring learners to participate in a course and gain new knowledge and skills. The agMOOCs are hoped to help participants conserve resources and improve their farming income.
IIT Kanpur and COL have partnered in offering three MOOCs that focused on development topics. The first two IITK and COL MOOCs attracted over 5000 learners from roughly 100 countries and focused on mobile phone technologies in development and on how to design MOOC for Development.
“As many Commonwealth governments wish to scale up skills training at speed, this agMOOC will provide opportunities to many local communities to acquire the relevant knowledge and skills in the agriculture sector,” said Professor Asha Kanwar, President and CEO of COL.
The first course of the AgMOOCs consortium will be launched on 17th March 2015 and will focus on Information Communication Technologies in agriculture. This course will be offered by IIT-Kanpur with Professor Prabhakar, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, serving as the Instructor in-Charge. Registration is open and all interested learners are invited to visit and sign up at http://agmoocs.in.