Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bidar may get an interactive district innovation centre

Centre will work as a forum for exploring novel methods

The district administration plans to set up a district innovation centre, comprising resource persons of the Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Science University, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, College of Horticulture and four engineering colleges.

Deputy Commissioner P.C. Jaffer said here on Monday that this would be an interdisciplinary forum for exchange of thoughts and exploring innovative methods between research institutions and the public.

He was speaking at a meeting of officials from the Department of Industries and representatives of colleges and trade bodies.

Dr. Jaffer said the resource persons will interact with farmers, traders, housewives and government officials, and find out if their problems can be solved through technology. Then, the teachers in engineering colleges will work with those in veterinary and horticulture colleges and the KVK, to draft plans for implementing technical tools to solve them.

According to estimates, over 700 engineering students pass out every year from the district. Colleges should consider asking them to take up projects that could help farmers and other groups, he said.

The Department of Industries has decided to support some clusters in the district.

It will fund automobile and bangle cutting clusters in Basava Kalyan and Bidriware and fabrication clusters in Bidar. It has also sought proposals from farmers for a horticulture cluster to process cashew and custard apple, he said.

Each cluster will get up to Rs. 2 crore funds, with beneficiary contribution being only 10 per cent.

The progress on industries-related clusters was satisfactory, while the horticulture cluster projects were yet to be approved.

Horticulture cluster

Praveen Naikodi and Praveen Jholgikar, resource persons from the College of Horticulture, gave details of the horticulture cluster. These horticulture-based industries would help raise income-levels of farmers and provide employment to members of self-help groups, they said.