ICAR-APAARI knowledge management workshop organized

July 29, 2022, New Delhi: The ICAR-APAARI Knowledge Management Workshop was held today at the NASC Complex in New Delhi. The fundamental objective of the workshop was to take stock of the state of knowledge management and develop a roadmap for future collaboration. Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary (DARE) & DG (ICAR) and Dr. AK Singh, DDG (Agricultural Extension), ICAR were the workshop chair and co-chair respectively. The DDGs, ADGs and Directors of ICAR research institutes participated in the workshop.

In his inaugural address, Dr. Mohapatra highlighted that the ICAR-led NARES is the largest agricultural knowledge generation system in the world. Based on a solid base of knowledge and its application, the country has seen several revolutions in agriculture and we are among the leading agricultural producers. The question is how we can capitalize on this knowledge and seize the initiative to benefit not only Indian agriculture, but also other Asian countries. A way forward for implementation is expected from this workshop. The recommendations of the high level committee formed for the restructuring of DKMA are awaited and we will be able to have a clearly defined and applicable knowledge management strategy across DKMA nationally and internationally.

Dr. Ravi Khetarpal, Executive Secretary of APAARI, in his welcome address, highlighted APAARI’s association with ICAR. He mentioned that the rich knowledge available with ICAR not only meets the needs of the country but also other Asian countries. APAARI looks to ICAR for support in developing a knowledge management system for the benefit of other nations associated with APAARI. He expressed his desire to collaborate with ICAR in more areas and hoped that this workshop would be a fruitful step in this direction.

In order to sensitize the discussion, Dr. SK Malhotra, Project Manager, DKMA gave a presentation and gave a holistic view of the ICAR Knowledge Management System highlighting the complex network of applications, platforms, etc. He presented the ICAR knowledge generation and dissemination system prevalent in agriculture. through 113 institutes including ATARI. He further mentioned that ICAR Institutes have contributed extensively in the development and implementation of knowledge resource portals such as 15 digital resources, Krishikosh, Krishi e-Resource, e-pubs, DKMA publications, KIRAN, KVK Knowledge network and Kisan Sarthi. He emphasized the social engineering of new knowledge.

Dr. AK Singh, DDG (Extension) expressed his desire to integrate knowledge available in discrete places into a single focal point. Dr. Singh also pointed out that sharing is the critical part whenever a knowledge base is created. He further stated that there is no dearth of knowledge available as ICAR houses the largest repositories of knowledge in the world and it needs an effective knowledge management process to capitalize on the enormous knowledge base available from us.

Dr. TR Sharma, DDG (Crop Science), ICAR highlighted that ICAR is fortunate to have an Agricultural Knowledge Management Directorate dedicated to the dissemination and sharing of agricultural knowledge and information. He pointed out that since we are dealing with information that is very diverse in nature, it requires its proper storage in a DBMS as it is dynamic in nature with smooth archiving, retrieval and upgrading. This database management system should be fed from all ICAR nodes and should allow data analysis in a user-friendly manner.

Dr. AK Singh, Director (IARI) highlighted the role of intellectual property management in the knowledge management process as well as the need to commercialize available technologies. Dr Singh also highlighted the need to think about ways to strengthen the agricultural research system.

Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Director (IASRI) informed that IASRI hosts 13 digital repositories that are accessible worldwide and are also part of the CGIAR GARDIAN system. Dr. Prasad also mentioned that ICAR has a video repository that is also capable of unified search. He also demanded that the knowledge resources available with APAARI be shared with ICAR and the interpretability of the KM system.

Dr. JP Mishra, ADG (IR) enlightened the participants on the spread and reach of ICAR citing that ICAR is ubiquitous with its footprints all over the Indian landscape and recently celebrated its 94th founding day. He mentioned the bouquet of activities that ICAR performs in the KM sphere, including portals, mobile applications, electronic grants, etc. He mentioned that we need to think about the approach of the KM-Innovation process.

Dr. Tara Satyavati, Project Coordinator (AICRP on Pearl Millet) requested that now is the time to start developing a common platform dedicated to the International Year of Pearl Millet 2023 as a one-stop-shop for all activities undertaken by the ‘ICAR in this sense.

This was followed by a presentation by Ms. Martina Spisiakova in which she highlighted the role of knowledge management in innovation and how KM is an integral part of innovation. The presentations were followed by a series of group discussions reflecting on the similarities/differences of the KM process of ICAR and APAARI.

ICAR’s Participatory KM Gap Analysis session was organized during which dignitaries identified both structural and functional gaps in the current ICAR KM system. After the brainstorming session, a deliberation on how to fill these gaps was conducted to identify strategies/action points that can help fill these gaps. It was concluded from the session that ICAR has a strong knowledge base and this is reflected in several success stories. Asian APAARI member countries can greatly benefit from the rich experience of India’s national agricultural research and education system.

The workshop ended with a vote of thanks from the CEO (ICAR) and the Executive Secretary, APAARI and Project Manager (DKMA).

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Donald E. Patel