Cornell University

Project Title: Implementing Reformed Curriculum in Emerging areas of Agriculture and Food Security in Two State Agricultural Universities of India

Partner Institutions: University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad and Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel University of Agriculture and Technology, Meerut


In May 2012, Cornell University, in collaboration with two Indian State Agricultural Universities, the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad (UASD) and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture and Technology, Meerut (SVPUA&T), and Indiaís leading private sector firm in the area of life sciences, Sathguru Management Consultants, received the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative (OSI) award to implement reformed curriculum in the emerging areas of agriculture and food security through Indian and U.S. faculty exchange visits. Since award of the grant, participating U.S. and Indian faculty have worked together to make significant progress in revising existing and developing new curriculum. Cornell faculty in the fields of food science, plant science and nanotechnology have traveled to SVPUA&T and UASD to meet their Indian counterparts, observe current curriculum being implemented, and discuss possible interventions for curriculum revision and development. Collaborative work plans, facilitated by Sathguru, have been developed for implementing mutually agreed upon curriculum interventions at both Indian universities.


At SVPUA&T, Indian and U.S. faculty are working together to develop a 3-day certificate course on food safety for food processors and handlers and an online food safety module for the undergraduate food science curriculum. At UASD, the team is working on curriculum documentation of the current Bachelor of Technology program in Food Technology and incorporating e-learning and experiential learning tools into the overall curriculum.


Cornell faculty has worked jointly with faculty from UASD to design course curricula for a Mastersí degree program in seed technology. The team prepared a proposal to introduce an Integrated Mastersí Program in Seed Technology and an undergraduate program in Biotechnology. The proposal was approved by UASDís Academic Council and the team is currently working with the Vice Chancellor to finalize the curriculum. A workshop on enhancing human resources in the seed industry has been organized at UASD to assist faculty in developing curriculum that equip students with the tools to meet private industry demands.


Cornell and UASD faculty are currently working on designing course curricula in the area of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Based on the teamís initial curriculum proposal, UASD has earmarked funding for the development of facility infrastructure and purchasing equipment.


Faculty from UASD and SVPUA&T are scheduled to visit Cornell in the fall of 2013. During that time, the team will focus on finalizing their curriculum development work, including layering in the cross cutting areas of e-learning, experiential learning, teaching excellence, and gender. The remainder of the project will be spent on sensitizing university leaders to the proposed curriculum and facilitating Indian faculty with the final implementation.


Image courtesy of Cornell University


Image courtesy of Cornell University