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From regional to transnational classrooms

Amutha Kannan
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New experience: M.Tech students of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University who returned on Thursday after a six-month programme at Cornell University, the U.S. — Photo: M. Periasamy
New experience: M.Tech students of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University who returned on Thursday after a six-month programme at Cornell University, the U.S. — Photo: M. Periasamy

Dual degree programmes offered by technical universities and Indian Institutes of Management, in association with institutes abroad, are gaining momentum. The first batch of students who have completed a dual degree post-graduate programme will receive their degree certificates here at a State agricultural university on Friday.

As many as 13 M. Tech. students from the Departments of Plant Breeding and Genetics, and Food Science and Technology of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), will receive the joint degrees of the university and that of Cornell University, Ithaca, the U.S.

According to TNAU, this is not only the first of its kind for any agricultural university, it is also so for the Ivy League Cornell University to enter into such a tie-up with an Indian university.

While the first batch will attend the convocation, the second batch of 13 has just returned after completion of the six-month two-semester period.

Students doing the two M. Tech. programmes are given an option to apply for the dual degree programme. Based on their GRE and TOEFL scores and a good State of Purpose (SOP) they are interviewed online by faculty of Cornell for final selection. The students get to complete a tailor-made programme that is jointly formulated by both the universities. However, barring the core papers, the others are all choice-based for which they gets credits.

Departments

According to Syed S.H. Rizvi, Professor, Food Process Engineering, Cornell University, two departments have been identified with the aim of increasing agricultural production through use of genetics, and enhancing marketing, processing and value-addition.

M.Tech. students of plant breeding and genetics will get a Master of Professional Science (MPS) degree in Biotechnology and Business Management from Cornell University, while M.Tech. students of food processing and marketing will get a MPS degree in food science and technology. The group that has returned as a globally enlightened lot not only in their subject, but on a range of issues, shared their ‘experiential learning' with The Hindu here on Thursday.

They touched upon their initiation into real-life agriculture, management, scientific writing, industry visits, physical education, and extra-curricular activities that they believe has moulded them into confident persons.

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