TAMIL NADU Agricultural University (TNAU) is planning to launch
open and distance learning (ODL) through the electronic learning
mode in order to reach larger numbers of people.
C. Ramasamy, Vice-Chancellor, TNAU, said that the University was
also planning a "tech-mode partnership" with Common
Wealth of Learning (COL), Canada, to enhance the distance learning
He said that the University would produce multimedia modules
on compact discs - on subjects related to agriculture and allied
sciences - to supplement the distance learning lessons.
Besides establishing Internet connectivity for online technology
transfer through ODL programmes, the University would involve
private agencies and development departments for conducting courses.
He said that the University had signed a memorandum of understanding
with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI),
Washington DC, United States, to facilitate the Global Open Food
and Agricultural University to help implement collaborative activities.
Partnerships were also likely with the International Crops Research
Institute for Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Hyderabad, M. S.
Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) in Chennai, State Agricultural
Universities, Maharashtra Fishery and Animal Sciences University,
Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation, Yashwanth Rao Chavan Open University,
Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS)
and Tamil Nadu Open University (TNOU), besides Madras University
and Anna University (both in Chennai).
"The major aim is to transform TNAU from its formal
educational system to a dual and convergent mode by adopting appropriate
policies and systems of open and distance learning and ICT (Information
and Communication Technology), so as to provide entrepreneurial
skills for self-employment, continuing professional education
and extension education to the rural people of Tamil Nadu,"
Prof. Ramasamy said.
Based on the advice of the Common Wealth of Learning (COL)
in Canada, TNAU had taken steps to form a consortium of four institutions,
along with Kerala Agricultural University, ICRISAT in Hyderabad
and Maharashtra Fishery and Animal Sciences University.
Primary target groups for distance learning programmes
were farmers, representatives of local institutions, field service
providers from local communities, school dropouts and villagers.
Secondary target groups were entrepreneurs, State extension personnel,
representatives of non-Governmental organisations, members of
self-help groups and employees in private sector institutions.
At present, the Directorate of Open and Distance Learning
of TNAU offered two post-graduate degree programmes in Master
of Business Adminstration (MBA) and M.Sc. in Environmental Management.
For the three-year MBA course, the eligibility was B.Sc. Agriculture
or allied subjects and for the two-year M.Sc. course, any science
degree except physics and mathematics.
The directorate also offered three post-graduate diploma courses
of one-year duration each, in Production and Quality Control in
Medicinal Plants, Food Biotechnology and Bioinformatics.
For the medicinal plant course, the eligibility was any degree
and for the other two courses, life science degrees.
Besides this, the directorate offered 12 certificate courses
in Tamil, for duration of six months each. Those who had studied
up to 6th Standard were eligible to join.
The certificate courses were in sugarcane production technology,
coconut cultivation, cotton cultivation, waste recycling and vermicomposting,
bee keeping, mushroom production, cotton and maize hybrid seed
production, vegetable seed production, preservation of fruits
and vegetables, wasteland development, nursery techniques and
propagation of horticultural plants, and repair and maintenance
of farm equipment and machinery.
Based on the nature of the course offered, TNAU had identified
`Personal Contact Programme Centres (PCP)' from among the research
stations of the University, located in different part of Tamil
For further details, contact: The Director, Directorate of Open
and Distance Learning, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore
- 641 003.