Krishi Vigyan Kendra
The Second Education Commission (1964-66) under the chairmanship of Dr. D. S. Kothari, recommended for the establishment of agricultural polytechnics to provide vocational education in agriculture to school dropouts and other rural youths. After careful deliberation by the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture and the Planning Commission and as a follow up of the recommendation, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) appointed a committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mohan Singh Mehta of Seva Mandir, Udaypur in 1973 for formulating the institutional design of Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVK) for providing vocational training in agriculture.
The basic principles enunciated by the Mehta Committee (1973) include:
- The Kendra will impart learning through work-experience and hence will be concerned with technical literacy, the acquisition of which does not necessarily require the ability to read and write.
- The Kendra will impart training only to those extension workers who are employed and to the practising farmers and fishermen. In other words, the Kendra will cater to the needs of those who are already employed or those who wish to be self-employed.
- There will be no uniform syllabus for the Kendras. The syllabus and programme of each Kendra will be flexible in nature and tailored according to the felt needs, natural resources and potential for agricultural growth in that particular area.
Krishi Vigyan Kendras (Farm Science Centre), an innovative science based institutions, were thus established mainly to impart vocational training to the farmers and field level extension workers. The concept of vocational training in agriculture through KVK grew substantially due to greater demand for improved agricultural technology by the farmers. They not only required knowledge and understanding of the intricacy of technologies, but also progressively more and more skills in various complex agricultural operations for adoption on their farms. The effectiveness of the KVK was further enhanced by adding the activities related to on-farm testing and Front-Line Demonstration on major agricultural technologies in order to make the training of farmers location specific, need based and resource-oriented.
The training programmes were designed to impart the latest knowledge to the farmers through work experience by applying the principles of ‘Teaching by Doing’ and ‘Learning by Doing’. The prime goal of KVK is to impart training as per needs and requirements in agriculture and allied enterprises to all farmers, farm women and farm youths including school drop-outs in the rural area. No formal certificate or diploma is awarded, irrespective of duration of the courses to avoid the rush for jobs instead of self employment. While designing the courses, the concept of farming system as well as farming situation are taken into account to ensure that the enterprises in which they are trained are commercially and ecologically viable, sustainable and profitable. Such vocational trainings help them to sustain themselves through self-employment and to make them self-reliant economically and thus discourages them to migrate to the urban areas.
KVKs provide training not only in agriculture and allied vocations but also in other income-generating activities that may supplement the income of farm families. The methods employed in training could be formal and non-formal or a combination of both, depending upon the needs but emphasis remains to be on work-experience, as suggested by Mohan Singh Mehta Committee Report that “the programme should be operated as a plan of continuing education both in the technical and general sense.”