VIJAYAWADA: Acharya NG Ranga Agriculture University (ANGRAU) is providing a rare opportunity for its undergraduate students to get international exposure. Selected students are sent to different foreign universities to do an internship or participate in research programmes there for a month or two under the Institutional Development Programme (IDP) sponsored by the National Agriculture Higher Educational Project.
“It is one of the several programmes designed for improving the standards of agriculture educational institutions in the State. The primary objective is to take our agriculture education on par with international standards. What could be a better way than having the students get international exposure,” says SR Koteswara Rao, Dean of Students Affairs and Dean of Agriculture, ANGRAU and the IDP coordinator. Last year 55 students were sent to two different universities — Oklahoma State University (OSU) Stillwater and Kansas State University (KSU) — in the USA. Now, another 53 are undergoing screening while ANGRAU is in negotiations with foreign universities for the programme.
“We are in touch with 16-17 universities including Hebrew University in Israel. We are hopeful of entering MoUs with some of them by October-end and send our students by November-December,” says K Uma Devi, assistant coordinator of the programme.
According to her, feedback from the first batch of the students who visited the two universities last year was very encouraging. It not only helped them upgrade their skills and knowledge but also have a fresh perspective towards their career.
“It was a life-changing opportunity for me. We were exposed to a completely new world where research is being carried even at the undergraduate level. I was at Oklahoma State University for two months and there we also interacted with emerging entrepreneurs from African nations,” says Siri Chandana, a BSc student from Agriculture College, Naira in Srikakulam district.
However, it is not that easy to get selected for the IDP International programme as there is an intense competition among some 350 students from five agriculture colleges under ANGRAU. Students get evaluated based on their academic performance, evaluation of cognition levels of learning, character, conduct, personality, team spirit, sports activities and interview.An expert panel constituted by the university vice-chancellor will make the final selection.
Rs 5-Rs 6 lakh on each student
The varsity spends Rs 5-Rs 6 lakh on each student. “Once they come back they share their experiences with their classmates, so everyone will benefit,” says Uma Devi