Agents of Change programme

Centers for International Projects Trust (CIPT) initiated the Agents of Change programme last year with Khalsa College, Amritsar with a vision to develop young students into leaders for a sustainable future of agriculture in Punjab. This programme aims to build a classroom – to – field connect for students bridging the gap between their theoretical and experiential learning.

With support from USAID the Agents of Change programme was piloted last year with 750 students and after its successful results, this year the Managing Board of Khalsa College decided to formally incorporate the programme as part of its curriculum in Department of Agriculture. To launch the programme officially as an academic activity, Khalsacollege organised a launch workshop on 21st October 2016in which dignitaries from USAID, CIPT and Khalsa college were present along with the faculty members and students. During the event, Micheal Satin, Director, Clean Energy & Environment, USAID India provided a global perspective on water and agriculture emphasising on a need for innovation in our approach to solutions. Our commitment and proactive participation in changing our world is the human innovation that is required for solving the issues. Dr. Kamal Vatta, Director, CIPT who has been the visionary person behind Agents of Change programme discussed the present day issues in agriculture like lack of precision farming, low technology adoption etc. and highlighted the role students can play in addressing these issues with their knowledge and skills.

This year the focus of Agents of Change programme was to build an understanding agricultural and socio-economic issue among students and also using IEC tools and participatory methods of extension to bridge the information on ground. The final year students of B.Sc. Agriculture (Hon.) programme along with the faculty from Agriculture Department have participated in the Agents of Change programme. As part of the programme the field visits were organised for students in which 16 teams visited the villages in Amritsar for four days. During the visits, students used an ‘edutainment’ approach to interact with farmers. For this they used an informative floor game designed by CIPT. The game is an adaptation from the Indian traditional game SaanpSeedh. Its gaming format helps in higher acquisition and better retention of knowledge among the learners. The game session was followed by an interesting interaction between students and the farmers through a focussed group discussion session.

AOC programme has created a conducive environment for students where they could implement their classroom learning in real life field challenges faced by farmers.This programme has provided a unique platform to our students, teachers and farmer community to interact and explore innovative solutions for sustainable agriculture in Punjab. This has immensely benefitted the students in their theoretical and experiential learning. It has also strengthened the leadership skills of our students and enhances their practical knowledge significant for dealing with future challenges of agriculture in Punjab.