Centre of Advanced Agricultural Science & Technology (CAAST) Grants will be given to participating agricultural universities for the establishment of Centres for Advance Agriculture Science and Technology on competitive basis. The subcomponent would support competitively selected CAAST proposals from reform-ready AUs to establish multidisciplinary centres for teaching, research and extension on critical and emerging agricultural topics. Multi-stakeholder consultations would inform the geographic locations and core themes for the proposed CAASTs, after which participating AUs would compete for CAAST funding. Approved AUs would be financed through a CAAST subproject grant directly to the participating AU.

To support interdisciplinary advanced centres for innovative approaches to teaching, research, extension and capacity building in the specialized area for holistic development and integrating agricultural education with employment and entrepreneurship.

Achievement (Last 5 Years) of the institutes
  • Research Achievements; Publication Record, Research publication with NAAS Scoring of more than 6.0; citation of publications, Awards at National Level.
  • Technology commercialization & Transfer to private sector or to National or International organizations, Patents obtained, consultancy provided with money earned.
  • Teaching quality standard and faculty strength; Best Teacher Awards at AU or ICAR level or National Level, Number of JRF and SRF selected, Students selected in ARS, Number of students who were admitted in foreign universities, Upper 5% percentile in GATE.
  • Student placement records and awards bagged by students e.g., National Young Scientist Award, ICAR’s Jawaharlal Nehru thesis Award, Awards at Agri-unifest, Agri-uni sports meet ,etc.
  • PG Programme Accredited
  • Excellence achieved in the area of the proposed centre, Impact of the work done in quantifiable terms, Technologies that have gone to farmers on large scale.
  • Linkages developed with National and International organization/Universities and how effective these have been in quantifiable terms.
  • LAU’s future plans, strategic development plan, vision, etc. documented.

CAAST would support AUs in setting up interdisciplinary Centres of Excellence in emerging areas of importance. Based on an assessment of key knowledge challenges expected to be faced by Indian agriculture in the coming years and the expected need for skilled graduates and postgraduates in these areas in the future, thrust areas will be selected for setting-up CAAST. The emphasis will be on participation of industries in these centres for skill development for enhanced employability and entrepreneurship. Component 1b would be in competitive mode depending on the strength of the leading universities. A proposal would be submitted by the universities in this regard in the prescribed format.

Suggested themes would include- : Conservation Agriculture, Precision farming / Farm Mechanization, Secondary Agriculture, Specialty agriculture, Renewable Energy Sources, Integrated Farming System (IFS), Agriculture Market Intelligence, Good Agricultural Practices, Hitech/Protected Cultivation, Climate Resilient Agriculture, Food Safety, Big Data Analysis and Genomics-assisted Breeding.

An indicative list of activities to be financed under CAAST includes:
  • New PG course development and existing PG course revision, with emphasis on applied problem solving and entrepreneurship.
  • Development of certificate courses for skill development in areas such as high-tech horticulture, food processing and precision farm technology.
  • Master and Ph.D. students sandwich program to facilitate student exposure to national and international universities.
  • Modern research facilities to conduct high-quality advanced research by faculty and students.
  • Faculty upgradation through international and national training with mentor universities.
  • Targeted research collaboration with national and international centres of excellence to increase both faculty/student productivity and research quality and relevance.
  • Adjunct/Visiting Professorship opportunities to stimulate innovation in ongoing PG research and to mentor PG students.
  • Distinguished Lecture Series/ Special lectures to bring about much needed vibrancy in the academic atmosphere and inspire students and faculty to perform better.
  • Collaboration with private sector, industry and civil society organizations related to the specialized areas to develop market-oriented programs and produce industry- ready graduates.
  • Transfer of technology to end users, e.g., farmers; this can be done effectively through KVKs in that region so that the research-education-extension synergy is revitalized.

In addition to reform readiness ( i.e. accreditation), AUs would be required to verify the qualifications and experience of faculty and staff to successfully establish and maintain the proposed CAAST, including:

  • Faculty and Research Staff Strength: At least ten permanent multi-disciplinary faculties with demonstrable expertise and research accomplishment relevant to the proposed CAAST,
  • Scientific partnership with national and international professional institutions,
  • Existing and functional advanced center in the proposed thematic area
The proposed project should cover the following activities related to the establishments CAAST:
  • Development of short courses for skill development: Two weeks to three months short courses in association with industry concerned will provide job-driven short programmes.
  • Master and Ph.D students programme for the exposure of students to national/international universities/institutions.
  • Modern research facilities for carrying out advanced post graduate research for increasing the quality of student research.
  • Conducting capacity building programmes for students, faculty and research scholars across the country.
  • Faculty upgradation through international and national trainings for preparing high quality human resources essential for quality teaching and research in Agricultural Universities.
  • Collaboration with national and international centres of excellence in education and research.
  • Adjunct/Visiting Professors, Scientists on sabbatical leave from outside the state/country to participate in teaching and research programme of SAU and to mentor PG students.
  • Distinguished Lecture Series/Special lectures.
  • Collaboration with industries related to the specialized areas.
  • Increasing visibility of Agricultural Universities and attracting talented students to Agricultural Education.
    Pre-requisite for Considering Main Proposal
  • Availability of PME cell to support the project
  • Base line survey on the proposed thrust area
  • Availability of infrastructure facility including field facility on the line of proposal.
  • Interdisciplinary faculty strength associated with project.
The CAAST would finance on the following:
  • Research and teaching equipment (i.e. goods);
  • Faculty and scientist development fellowships,
  • Student scholarships, primarily at the postgraduate level; and
  • Costs associated with twinning arrangements with similar centres (e.g. universities, research centres) both outside and within India (i.e. training, consultant services, and non-consultant services).
  • Faculty upgradation through international & national training
  • Costs for Adjunct/Visiting professors & for lecture series/special lectures
  • The Applicant AU should strive for 20% of the project share from the state government. Proposal with assured state share will get priority in selection
Performance Indicators
  • Number of industry- sponsored projects and positions in cutting-edge areas of agri-science
  • Number of competitive grants from a national/international funding agency.
  • Faculty/student exchange programme initiated with national/international institutions number of technologies commercialized
  • Number of research papers published in reputed journals(h-Index).
  • Revenue generated from Centre’s activities (e.g. consultancies, projects, trainings, commercialization etc.)
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