Union Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Minister Jitendra Singh on Sunday said students' exchange programmes should be encouraged so that they can visit various institutions for better exposure and understanding research opportunities."The student exchange programmes should be encouraged as India is rich with the best scientific and technological institutes like the National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR) and Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology (SKUAST). Students in this field can visit these institutions for better exposure and research intuition due to best technology available there," he said at the concluding ceremony of the Northern India Regional Agriculture Fair 2021 at SKUAST, Jammu, a release said here.The Modi government is giving special impetus to agriculture start-ups, Singh said, adding the proactive outreach is the need of the hour to get the best minds for the promotion of products at national and international level, be that for basmati rice, rajma, or other products.Giving examples of the entrepreneurs involved in various innovative agricultural practices and who are earning in lakhs, Singh stressed upon the students present there "to become job providers and not job seekers, become agricultural technocrats through start-ups and be the architects of innovative India".
Asserting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is serious towards agriculture development in India can be judged from the fact that two new Ministries, Jal Shakti and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship have been created only to promote agriculture and doubling the farmers' income by 2022, he said: "One of its important links is the recently launched 'Heli-Borne Survey' Technology for groundwater management and to map groundwater resources in arid regions for drinking and agricultural purposes."Enumerating the development initiatives taken in Jammu & Kashmir vis-a-vis agriculture and innovation, he said the establishment of north India's first biotechnology park, two high seed processing plants at Kathua and the launch of India's first Aroma Mission among others will open new vistas of growth, opportunities and innovation in agriculture in Jammu.To the farmers present on the occasion, Singh maintained that the responsibility of the government is to facilitate the farmer in every way, which is being done without any compromise.He also urged SKUAST administration to promote 75 agricultural start-ups from the university on 75 years of India's Independence on the lines of his Ministry, which is also promoting venturessuch as '75 Young start-ups in Science', '75 Women start-ups in Science' and '75 SIT hubs dedicated to SCs and STs', the release added.