SAF Regional Cooperation Seminars - Yashwant Rao Chavan Open University

Conference Maharashtra, India - 10th May 2007

YCMOU is one of the largest Open University in the country, it spends a tremendous amount of capital on the Research and Development of its Agricultural courses and the continual improvement of its infrastructure.  It has eight regional sub-centres, spread across Maharashtra and Goa; I was informed that the Regional Cooperation Seminar would be held in all 8 sub-centres, similar in presentation to the one in Nashik. 

The  396 awardees students live very far from the Nashik headquarters.  However, the seminar itself was brief, to the point, and most importantly in Marathi.  Dr. N.R Chaudhary, a Reader at the University’s Social Sciences department, spoke of Regional Cooperation in the most basest of terms i.e. that cooperation must start within the village, between neighbours, then between districts and states and finally between countries.

A brief introduction about SAARC, its member States and functioning committees was given - the rest of the time was dedicated to discussing the SASIA Story. After the seminar, I got a chance to see some of the truly wonderful work that YCMOU has done in regard to alternative agriculture practices.  For example, they have hundreds of acres of land that are irrigated with minimal water usage using a new “drip irrigation” technique that optimizes water usage by 5 times as much as traditional drip irrigation techniques. Since most of the students are from farming communities, YCMOU offers terrific hands on training for their agricultural and horticultural courses.


Yashwant Rao Chavan Open University